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Female representation in Cyber Security: New opportunities for increased recruitment and retention

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March 10, 2021

By Lucy Hall

With the Covid-19 pandemic spurring a rise in online hacking, companies across the world have turned their attention to the need for an increased number of cyber security analysts. In 2020, 22 percent of companies stated that they required more cyber security experts, due in part to the $3.9 million lost to cyber attacks, as reported in the Financial Times (26 January 2021). A solution to this shortage, according to veteran cyber security analyst Jane Frankland, is to provide lasting employment opportunities to women.

Traditionally, the cyber security sector has been male dominated, with only one-quarter of the industry’s employees identifying as female. To counter this disparity, governments and organisations have advocated for female engagement in the sector. Notably, the United Kingdom (UK) government initiated the Cyber First Girls Competition in 2017, which invites Year 8 and 9 students from across the UK to compete in an exciting and challenging competition aimed at providing girls with the opportunity to learn more about cyber security. Despite these efforts, the sole focus should not be placed on hiring alone, but retention.

Emily Stapf, the US cyber security leader at PwC, has claimed that companies need to focus on their cultural environment and create opportunities for their female employees. This focus will not only assist in working towards an equitable gender balance, but afford companies with a new perspective; women often bring with them a risk management mindset and have a different perspective on task management.

The cyber-security sector is only set to grow, with companies recognising the importance of investing in technology and cyber experts in 2021. SecurityWomen is eager to see more companies, as well as the public sector, military, police and all other security sectors provide opportunities for recruitment and career progression for women in cyber-security and will monitor ongoing efforts to increase female engagement.

 

To read more on the cyber sector and women’s representation in the field, head to the link below: https://www.ft.com/content/0cce5bd1-5dd9-4d84-b0b6-3cba3df602ea

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