Cyber’s Gender Gap
Cybersecurity and Information Technology holds a reputation for being a field of study continuously dominated by men. In 2021, women made up roughly 20-24% of the cybersecurity workforce and we now have 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs, globally (Security Boulevard). Though we begin to close this gap with every year that passes, there is a lot more work to be done in the strive for equality across the field.
Our biggest barrier– Underrepresentation
It is believed that the gap we see in the cyber field is largely due in part to the fact that women lack the representation they need in order to feel confident about the field. A lot of women will initially deny a cyber security job on the basis that they believe the individual doesn’t hold enough qualifications. Cybersecurity isn’t the narrow path many women think it is, however. Once entered into the field, these women find that there is a vast field that can accomodate their experience level and unique skills. Women should keep in mind that they don’t need a cybersecurity or computer science degree to enter the field. Doing this can appeal to qualified ladies in the industry to join. Hiring managers have to additionally be aware that qualified applicants exist separate from those majors.
How do we break these barriers?
Despite the progress we are making, there is still much to work on, and we can always do more to promote gender equality in the cyber field. We can jump ahead of this issue by interacting with not only women, but other marginalized groups early on. Exposing children to coding and the concept of cybersecurity at a young age will encourage more young boys and girls to imagine a life within the field, entering the world of cyber later on, and evening the playing field between men and women to close the gap. Breaking down self-made obstacles, changing a skewed hiring device that depends on AI looking for keywords to pick applicants, and more men stepping up as allies in the area are all thoughts recommended to bridge the gender gap in cybersecurity. Seeking out opportunities to educate ladies and different underrepresented groups on cybersecurity roles can grow the amount of these businesses within the area. From constantly having to prove themselves, to having simple ideas explained to them again and again, women face a completely different set of obstacles whilst working on a cybersecurity group. We ought to all create a surrounding in which employees don’t consistently have to advocate for themselves on their own. Both industry and private mentors can help someone looking to enter the cyber field.
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