Cyber security leaders have called for greater workforce diversity after it was revealed that just 11 per cent of professionals in the sector are women.
A report by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education revealed that only just over one in ten cyber security workers are women – and that figure drops to eight per cent in the UK.
The organisation behind the study called for more to be done to move towards equality.
“It’s disappointing to see that the number of women in the cyber security workforce continues to remain low,” said David Shearer, CEO at the Center for Cyber Safety and Education and (ISC)².
He added that an increased number of women in the industry could help to close the gap in the cyber security workforce, which is expected to reach 1.8 million by 2022.
“We must encourage young women, help them to see that information security is a challenging, lucrative and exciting career field,” Shearer said. “We must also promote women into leadership positions, and pay them at levels that are equal to their male counterparts.
“There is a large shortage of skilled cyber professionals, and women are a valuable resource that can help to bridge that gap.”
Although 51 per cent of women in the field hold a master’s degree or higher, compared to 45 per cent of men, fewer were found to hold positions at the director level or above.
It also found that women’s average salary is lower than that of their male counterparts.
The Center for Cyber Safety and Education has joined forces with the Executive Women’s Forum on Information Security, Risk Management and Privacy and report sponsors PwC, IBM, (ISC)2 and Veracode to help raise awareness of the need for more women in the sector.