Pandemic boosts ‘women in cybersecurity’

Nearly half of women working in cybersecurity (49%) say that the Covid-19 pandemic has affected their career in a positive way, with just 9% experiencing a negative impact.

This is according to a new report from human layer security company, Tessian, published on International Women’s Day.

In fact, cybersecurity jobs appear to have weathered the Covid-19 storm as 94% of women in cybersecurity said they recruited new staff members to help support their team in 2020. In addition, 89% of women working in the industry reported feeling secure in their jobs.

Despite the industry offering promising opportunities, there is still plenty of work to be done to encourage younger women to consider a career in cybersecurity. The report found that university graduates aged 18-25 were more likely to consider a job in cybersecurity – 46% vs 26% of women. Interestingly, though, 87% of the young women said they found the industry “important” and 73% described it as “interesting”.

When female cybersecurity professionals were asked what would encourage more women into the industry, equal pay topped the list with 47% of respondents, closely followed by “more female diverse models” (44%). A “gender-balanced workforce” and “a greater emphasis on STEM subjects in school” followed on 43% and 41%, respectively.

A significant percentage of Gen Z respondents were on the fence when it came to considering a career in cybersecurity, however. Nearly half (45%) were not sure were concerned that they didn’t have the skills needed to thrive in the industry.

Tessian has previously reported that a further £4.4 billion would be added to the UK economy if the number of women working in cybersecurity was equal to the number of men.

Sabrina Castiglione, Tessian’s chief financial officer and acting head of talent, said: “The women in our report have spoken; cybersecurity is an industry to thriving career in, even in a global pandemic. And the younger generation recognises that it’s important. So now, we need to show more women and girls how they can explore the opportunities available to them.

“Greater awareness in schools is critical but businesses, too, can help build a more diverse talent pool for the future through initiatives like hiring more diverse candidates at junior levels and developing them into senior roles, and creating platforms for role models to share their stories. We won’t solve the gender gap overnight. But acting now and playing the long game will have enormous benefits – both for businesses and society.”

To read Tessian’s full report, please visit: Opportunity in Cybersecurity 2021

Originally featured on Fresh Business Thinking

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