On International Women’s Day Only 10% Of Top Executives Were Female

International cyber security firms often do not appoint women to senior executive and managerial positions. Only 10% of board positions and 16% of management positions within the world's leading cyber security companies are held by women. 

Industry specialist PR agency Eskenzi  has analysed the websites of 138 leading cyber firms and found that women hold just 10 per cent of board positions and 16 per cent of management positions. Out of 609 board positions, only 60 were women, while out of 1700 management positions only 271 were women.

An earlier study Conducted by the Royal Academy of Engineering (RAE), the report  ‘Closing the Engineering Gender Pay Gap’ shows that just 12 per cent of engineers in the UK are women and they earn around 11 per cent less on average than their male counterparts. The Eskenzi study also looked at the types of management roles women hold within cyber security organisations and it revealed that the majority hold senior roles in either marketing or HR. The RAE study concluded that the engineering profession had a similar problem, with women often “unrepresented at the highest levels”.

There were only eight female CEO positions held and only one security company has an entirely female management team, compared to 19 companies that have entirely male management teams.

The study also looked at the types of management roles women hold within cyber-security organisations and it revealed that the majority hold senior roles in either marketing or HR. There were only eight female CEO positions held and only one security company has an entirely female management team, compared to 19 companies that have entirely male management teams. 

Eskenzi PR founder Yvonne Eskenzi called for more women “in driving seats” and urged companies to make a conscious effort to recruit more women. “The challenges facing our society related to cyber-security threats are pervasive and will only get worse,” said Vanessa Pegueros, CSO at OneLogin. "We need talent not just from 50 per cent of the population (men), we need talent from 100 per cent of the population to tackle these complex problems." she said.

Men and women bring a different perspectives to cyber security and having a diverse mix of not just both but all genders is hugely important if you’re going to run your organisation sensibly. The UK is currently facing a severe skills shortage of engineers and it is estimated that an additional 59,000 will need to be added to the workforce every year to meet the growing demand.

Recruitment in cyber security has thrived in 2020 and according to a new global report from 'human layer' security company Tessian called 'Opportunities in Cybersecurity 2021', 94% of women in cyber security hired new staff members in 2020 to support their teams, with IT, finance and healthcare industries making the most hires. Nearly half (49%) of women cyber security professionals in the US and UK said Covid-19 had a positive impact on their career, with just 9% saying the pandemic negatively impacted their job. In addition, 89% of women working in cyber security said they feel secure in their jobs. 

There is much work to be done to encourage more women to join this thriving industry and change perceptions of the industry among potential female executives.  

Tessian:     SecurityOnScreen:   ESKENZI:    E&T:    ITSecurityGuru:      Forbes:     Image: Unpslash

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