Women in cybersecurity careers: 3 strategies to boost gender inclusion

Reston, Virginia-based ThreatQuotient’s Gigi Schumm makes the case for promotion transparency and bias awareness.

The business case for diversity is stronger than ever, and research proves this out.

Companies that are more diverse outperform their less diverse peers financially — and the greater representation of women, the higher the likelihood of outperformance. Beyond the financial benefits, diversity expands the talent pool and fosters creativity and innovation when teams consist of people with different perspectives and skillsets.

Yet despite a universal recognition that diversity is good for business, technology companies, and specifically cybersecurity companies, remain laggards when it comes to gender inclusion. In my own analysis of all publicly traded cybersecurity companies globally, I found that fewer than 10% have a woman at the helm. One core reason is likely the disparity between men and women across the different types of STEM college degrees and occupations. The latest available research shows of all holders of bachelor’s degrees or higher, women make up only 26% in computer and mathematical science and 16% in engineering, similar to the distribution of women employed in these fields. While degrees aren’t the only factor to gender inclusion in cybersecurity, the disparity is stark and closing that gap is a longer-term strategy that could help make a difference.

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