To honor Women’s History Month this March and International Women’s Day, which falls on March 8, Trustwave will recognize several women from across its business who have dedicated themselves to making cybersecurity their passion on both the technical and non-technical side of the house.
Throughout the month, Trustwave will post a series of blogs that will highlight how the women came to work in the cybersecurity field, common misconceptions about the industry, and advice they would give to other women interested in cybersecurity.
“As an industry, there are still a number of misconceptions around working in cybersecurity,” said Oriana Vogel, Trustwave’s Chief Human Resource Officer. “At Trustwave, we're hyper focused on breaking down those barriers to create a more inclusive and welcoming environment where everyone can make an impact. Our culture at Trustwave thrives on collaboration and developing our people and it's our top priority to continue to recruit and retain diverse talent from around the world."
The dearth of women in this field is well known and there has been an industry-wide effort to rectify the imbalance. This includes at Trustwave, where a great deal of effort has been put into recruiting and retaining women. Trustwave is proud to note that these efforts have borne fruit with the company hiring more women than ever before.
The need to bring in more women and diversity in general into the information security space can be seen in the number of job openings that remain unfilled in this sector. According to a 2022 report by ISC2, despite on-going hiring initiatives, there remains a global cybersecurity workforce gap of 3.4 million people.
However, times are changing and barriers falling.
The ISC2 study states that some changes can be seen, particularly among younger women. ISC2 found women comprise 30% of global cybersecurity workers who are under the age of 30; and 24% of the workforce between 30 and 38 years old. These figures are more than twice that of older age groups indicating that more women are indeed entering the field.
Additionally, the younger women coming into cybersecurity are moving up in the ranks at their organizations.
“In terms of gender, we’re seeing more women, especially younger ones, holding managerial positions. In our study, women made up only 10% of C-level executives who are 50 or older, but they account for 35% of all executives in their 30s. Interestingly, women across the board remain underrepresented in advanced, non-managerial positions, where they make up only 17% of our respondent base,” the report stated.
There are also statistics indicating that more women are passionate about their cybersecurity career and willing to make the investment needed to excel, with the report noting that women in cybersecurity are more likely to hold Master’s degrees than men, 49% compared to 42%.
This higher emphasis on education and general interest in cybersecurity is leading to more women viewing their next career step as a promotion, 34%, compared to men with only 29% expecting to move up the cybersecurity career ladder.
How We Can Empower Women as a Cyber Community
As a cybersecurity community, we have to empower women to join and grow in the industry. Here are some initiatives that we can take:
- More education in schools about the field and what it means to be a cyber defender
- Women leaders brought in to speak to young women and share their stories/mentor
- Support non-profits like WiCyS (Women in CyberSecurity) and WoSEC (Women of Cybersecurity) that have a mission to elevate women in cyber and provide key resources and career guidance
- Encourage senior year college women to jump-start their careers with cyber training (i.e., SANS Women’s Immersion Academy)
- Break down hiring barriers for cybersecurity roles – encourage candidates with a diversity of thought and background without the need for traditional IT degrees
- Offer training to in-house employees that want to make the switch to cybersecurity from an adjacent field
- Invest in deep learning internships and the young women eager to test the waters of the cyber workforce
- Provide strong mentors to women.
So, please come back and read how women at Trustwave are helping set the pace in the security solutions sector, on both the technical and non-technical sides of the business, and help keep Trustwave and its clients secure from cyberattacks.
One of our security researchers in Manila Karla Agregado put it best: “The world of cybersecurity sees no gender in aiming to help and protect people from different types of cyberthreats.”