Women are highly underrepresented in the field of cybersecurity. In 2017, women’s share in the U.S. cybersecurity field was 14%, compared to 48% in the accepted workforce.

The botheration is more acute alfresco the U.S. In 2018, women accounted for 10% of the cybersecurity workforce in the Asia-Pacific region, 9% in Africa, 8% in Latin America, 7% in Europe and 5% in the Middle East.

Women are even less well represented in the upper echelons of aegis leadership. Only 1% of female internet aegis workers are in senior administration positions.

I study online crime and aegis issues facing consumers, organizations and nations. In my research, I have found that internet aegis requires strategies beyond abstruse solutions. Women’s representation is important because women tend to offer viewpoints and perspectives that are altered from men’s, and these underrepresented perspectives are analytical in acclamation cyber risks.

Perception, awareness, and bias

The low representation of women in internet aegis is linked to the broader botheration of their low representation in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics fields. Only 30% of scientists and engineers in the U.S. are women.

The civic view is that internet aegis is a job that men do, though there is annihilation inherent in gender that predisposes men to be more absorbed in or more adept at cybersecurity. In addition, the industry afield gives abeyant advisers the consequence that only abstruse skills matter in cybersecurity, which can give women the consequence that the field is overly abstruse or even boring.

Women are also about not presented with opportunities in advice technology fields. In a survey of women advancing careers alfresco of IT fields, 69% adumbrated that the main reason they didn’t pursue opportunities in IT was because they were blind of them.

Organizations often fail to try to recruit women to work in cybersecurity. According to a survey conducted by IT aegis aggregation Tessian, only about half of the respondents said that their organizations were doing enough to recruit women into cybersecurity roles.

Gender bias in job ads added discourages women from applying. Online cybersecurity job ads often lack gender-neutral language.

Good aegis and good business

Boosting women’s captivation in advice aegis makes both aegis and business sense. Female leaders in this area tend to accent important areas that males often overlook. This is partly due to their backgrounds. Forty-four percent of women in advice aegis fields have degrees in business and social sciences, compared to 30% of men.

Female internet aegis professionals put a higher antecedence on centralized training and apprenticeship in aegis and risk management. Women are also stronger advocates for online training, which is a flexible, bargain way of accretion employees’ acquaintance of aegis issues.

Female internet aegis professionals are also adept at selecting accomplice organizations to advance secure software. Women tend to pay more absorption to accomplice organizations’ abilities and personnel, and they assess partners’ adeptness to meet acknowledged obligations. They also prefer ally that are accommodating to accomplish absolute aegis tests.

Increasing women’s accord in cybersecurity is a business issue as well as a gender issue. According to an Ernst & Young report, by 2028 women will ascendancy 75% of arbitrary customer spending worldwide. Aegis considerations like encryption, fraud apprehension and biometrics are acceptable important in consumers’ buying decisions. Product designs crave a accommodation amid cybersecurity and usability. Female cybersecurity professionals can make better-informed decisions about such trade-offs for articles that are targeted at female customers.

Attracting women to cybersecurity

Attracting more women to cybersecurity requires governments, nonprofit organizations, able and trade associations and the clandestine sector to work together. Public-private affiliation projects could help solve the botheration in the long run.


One archetype is Israel’s Shift community, ahead known as the CyberGirlz program, which is accordingly financed by the country’s Defense Ministry, the Rashi Foundation and Start-Up Nation Central. It identifies high school girls with aptitude, desire and accustomed concern to learn IT and and helps them advance those skills.

The girls participate in hackathons and training programs, and get advice, advice and abutment from female mentors. Some of the advisers are from elite technology units of the country’s military. The participants learn hacking skills, arrangement assay and the Python programming language. They also convenance assuming cyber-attacks to find abeyant vulnerabilities. By 2018, about 2,000 girls alternate in the CyberGirlz Club and the CyberGirlz Community.

In 2017, cybersecurity firm Palo Alto Networks teamed up with the Girl Scouts of the USA to advance cybersecurity badges. The goal is to foster cybersecurity ability and advance absorption in the profession. The class includes the basics of computer networks, cyberattacks and online safety.

Professional associations can also foster absorption in cybersecurity and help women advance accordant knowledge. For example, Women in Cybersecurity of Spain has started a mentoring affairs that supports female cybersecurity professionals early in their careers.

Some industry groups have collaborated with big companies. In 2018, Microsoft India and the Data Aegis Council of India launched the CyberShikshaa affairs in order to create a pool of accomplished female cybersecurity professionals.

Some technology companies have launched programs to foster women’s absorption in and aplomb to pursue internet aegis careers. One archetype is IBM Security’s Women in Aegis Excelling program, formed in 2015.

Attracting more women to the cybersecurity field requires a range of efforts. Cybersecurity job ads should be accounting so that female professionals feel acceptable to apply. Recruitment efforts should focus on bookish institutions with high female enrollment. Corporations should ensure that female advisers see cybersecurity as a good option for centralized career changes. And governments should work with the clandestine sector and bookish institutions to get young girls absorbed in cybersecurity.

Increasing women’s accord in cybersecurity is good for women, good for business and good for society.

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