Increasing women’s representation in cybersecurity
- Women have only made up a small percentage of the cybersecurity workforce worldwide.
- According to UN Women, there is a significant gender gap in cybersecurity where women in Asia, and the Pacific, account for less than 10% of the workforce.
- Tessian has projected a shortage of 1.8 million professionals globally by 2022, so organizations must prioritize diversity.
Women have only made up a small percentage of the cybersecurity workforce. According to a recent survey, women account for just 20% of the information security field.
The issue is that there are still very few female role models in cybersecurity, and many women don’t know where to start when it comes to breaking into this male-dominated profession.
Cybersecurity is a critical topic for all nations; however, the worldwide workforce shortage of approximately 4 million people, including 2.1 million across the Asia-Pacific region.
With the rapid expansion of technology across Southeast Asia, it’s expected that cybercrime rates will also increase. Despite the growing importance of cybersecurity, women continue to be vastly underrepresented in the field.
Only 30% women entering the industry in Asia-Pacific, according to a 2020 cyber security workforce study by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC).
According to UN Women, there is a significant gender gap in cybersecurity where women in Asia, and the Pacific, account for less than 10% of the workforce.
“This gap in women’s participation has resulted in a lack of gender perspectives informing cybersecurity and the development of its frameworks that fail to identify and respond to cyber threats faced by women and girls.”
A survey conducted by Tessian shows that only about half of the respondents said their organizations were doing enough to recruit women into cybersecurity roles. The report has projected a shortage of 1.8 million professionals globally by 2022, so organizations must prioritize diversity.
India developing more women in the cybersecurity sector
In a bid to cultivate and support a diverse workforce and cybersecurity sector, NortonLifeLock partnered with The National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) Foundation in India to celebrate the graduation of 232 women from their Cyber Security Skills Development Initiative for Women program recently.
The initiative was designed to create more significant employability opportunities for female engineering graduates by equipping them with in-demand job skills.
According to NASSCOM, women only make up about one-quarter of the global cybersecurity workforce, and this number has been stagnant in India despite significant increases in job openings.
NASSCOM is a nonprofit organization that leverages the capabilities of its member companies and emerging social enterprises to meet the technology needs of nonprofits and underserved communities across India.
Bridging the gender gap
LinkedIn Talent Insights reports that women only made up 26% of the workforce in Singapore as of March 2021.
Historically, significantly fewer female students would enroll in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors at a tertiary level, resulting in a smaller talent supply from the very top of the funnel. There is also a social perception that women in Asian society have family responsibilities resulting in fewer women pursuing and sustaining careers in cybersecurity.
Experts have said that one of the ways to attract more females to the cybersecurity function in an organization is to provide them frequent exposure and mentoring in the issues in this sector.
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