Only 3% Of Cyber Security Startups Are Led By Women

The skills gap in cybersecurity has been discussed at length. But what about diversity in cybersecurity? While that has also received attention, cybersecurity firm NopSec published their recent Women Leaders in Cybersecurity report to put some numbers behind female leaders in the industry. 

In 2020, cybersecurity startups raised $8.9 billion and last year, that number increased to more than $21 billion

While this data is exciting and promising for the cybersecurity industry as a whole, there’s one big question that isn’t being asked: how much of that funding went to companies led by women? 

“As a female CEO of a cybersecurity company myself, I was curious to know the answer to this question,” said Lisa Xu, CEO of NopSec. “Over the past two months, we collected and analyzed cybersecurity startups with one goal: to find out how many are led by female CEOs?” 

The report found that of the 654 startups that raised more than $1,000,000 in funding in 2020 and 2021, only 22 - or 3.3% - were led by female CEOs.

“With just 3% of companies being led by women, do we really wonder why we have a gender diversity problem in cybersecurity? What’s actually being done to address this problem? Is there any real progress being made to fix it?” said Xu. 

She goes on to say, “We are doing this because before we can expect to see progress made to solve this problem, we all need to know where we stand. What gets measured gets improved. We’ll take on the responsibility of monitoring funding going to women-led cybersecurity companies but it will be up to investors to determine what gets improved. Investors backing more female CEOs who are running cybersecurity companies will bring more women into cybersecurity — it’s truly that simple.” 

If there are more women in cybersecurity — everyone wins. Organizations get to build more diverse teams, investors get to invest in companies that have been proven to outperform their male counterparts, and most importantly, all the incredibly talented women out there get the opportunity to unleash their value to the world. It’s up to investors to make this happen. 

Contributed By: NOPSEC

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