Women In Cyber Security Are Paid Much Less Than Men

There is an acute skills shortage in the global cyber security workforce and this  is a serious problem when companies are trying to hire cyber experts. Although there has been a rise of the global cyber security workforce who are now over30% female, sex  discrimination and a major gender pay gap continue to blight the industry.

According to new Report by (ISC) 2 called Cybersecurity Workforce Study 2019. 63% of women said they planned a career in the industry from as early on as their university days, a greater proportion than for men (54%). Over half (53%) began their careers in cyber security, compared to just 38% of men.

  • Women also see cyber security as a long-term career: over two-thirds (68%) said they plan to stay put for the remainder of their working lives. 
  • Some 69% of women versus 66% of men said they are either very or somewhat satisfied with their jobs, with women more likely to be “very satisfied” (34% versus 27%).

Yet while this bodes well for the future, there are still major challenges facing women in cyber security which could perpetuate gender imbalance in the sector.

  • Over a fifth (22%) cited discrimination as an issue they’d experienced in their careers, versus just 13% of men. Women are also being paid significantly less than men, especially in North America and Europe.
  • The average salary for female cyber security employees in North America is just under $80,000, versus an average of around $96,500 for men. In Europe, the average salary for women is about $40,500 compared to $67,000 for men.

Overall, women are paid around 21% less than their male counterparts globally. Although this may reflect much broader societal challenges, the need for parity is particularly urgent in a cybersecurity industry where skills shortages are so acute.

There are career barriers for women, which most organisations can help their cyber security professionals, both male and female,  to overcome: 

  • The cost of cyber security certification is the number one career hurdle, with more than half of respondents having to pay out-of- pocket for at least some of the costs of cyber security certifications. 
  • Drawing on employees from within the organisation where experience is important. Many organisations intend to keep their in-house experts in place and help them further develop the constantly evolving skills and knowledge needed to secure their organisations in the future. 
  • In building their cyber security teams, 70% of organisations give priority to training and promoting from within, according to previous research. 
  • 57% offer training and certification opportunities to employees to strengthen their teams, and 55% offer cross-training on cybersecurity skills and responsibilities.
  • Almost half of organisations represented in the Cybersecurity Workforce Study are planning to increase their security training budgets within the next year. 

That’s a really good idea, because the vast majority of study participants (81%) say they need additional certifications or training to prepare for future roles. 

Infosecurity Magazine:     (ISC)2:        Cyber Security Ventures

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