Added: Paige Lazaro - Date: 03.07.2021 13:13 - Views: 33169 - Clicks: 3957
InfoSec Institute estimates there is a worldwide staffing shortage of nearly three million in the ranks of cybersecurity professionals, half a million in North America alone. And the problem is expected to get worse as demand for infosec resources is expected to grow dramatically for the foreseeable future.
The shortfall in staffing is estimated to rise to 3. Ina research study conducted by Frost and Sullivan stated that women represented just 11 percent of the worldwide cybersecurity workforce. While that study may have been somewhat limited in terms of the job positions and types of cybersecurity it included everyone still agrees that the female representation in cybersecurity was shockingly low. In its March 28, research articleCybercrime Magazine concludes that women now make up approximately 20 percent of the global infosec payrolls.
This is, of course, an encouraging improvement from six years ago, but still woefully shy of the 50 percent range that would represent parity. The cybersecurity unemployment rate is at zero and has been at that level since at leastso the percentage gap in employment of women cannot be explained simply by an industry gender bias in hiring. Most STEM professions are still suffering from a lack of women in their ranks, even after decades of equal gender rights initiatives. Young female students seem to shun STEM-related fields, which encompasses the broadly-defined areas of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics.
The stereotype that STEM is better suited to men seems to still persist in many areas of the country, despite the fact that women consistently score as well or better in math and science-related tests. While the recent trend seems to offer some optimism that young women are increasingly overlooking the stereotypes in careers, the shortfall will take a long time to overcome at this rate.
And the persistent truth that women continue to be underpaid and under-recognized for their achievements will make it an even more difficult problem to alleviate. A Woman want nsa Camp enlightened generation of hiring managers and C-suite officers will need to take over in STEM before Woman want nsa Camp gains can come to fruition. Recent anecdotal evidence, however, indicates that the move to equal treatment for women is now underway.
More women are now being promoted to executive cybersecurity positions than ever before, so optimism is the rule of today. Even if this change in attitude is being prompted by the necessity of unfilled job positions, it is a positive trend for women. To close this gap and bring female representation up close to 50 percent, it would help to know why the shortfall exists in the first place.
Identifying simple gender bias as the root of the problem would lead to decades-old answers of educating employers about the contribution women bring to the job environment, and possibly enlightening males of the same from a young age. A few research articles have been published in recent years that shed some light on the issues: Forbes magazine published a recap of a study in January that appeared on Quora; Government Technology used some high school cybersecurity camps as an opportunity Woman want nsa Camp gain insight into what teenagers think about their career prospects in the industry; A t report by NBC and The Hechinger Report was published in April Evidence suggests that young girls, often during or even before high school, form preconceptions about their place in the world.
Parental influences in some families, as well as other societal notions seem to still be leaning girls away from technical professions.
Cybersecurity is often viewed by young women as a career requiring females to be much more accomplished than men in order to get equal treatment. Even some schoolgirls have already come to the conclusion that technical careers are best suited to boys. In fact, current data suggests this is often painfully true. Deserved or not, cybersecurity has a bit of an image problem. Media representations would lead most reasonable people to Woman want nsa Camp cybersecurity occupations are performed in highly intense war room type atmospheres by shadowy young guys in hoodies.
This perception is not entirely wrong in some aspects of cybersecurity, like ethical hacking. But many segments of the rapidly expanding industry are performed in environs far removed from a war room. There is also evidence to suggest that among women who do choose entry into cybersecurity, a surprisingly high proportion tend to leave the field in relatively short order. Some suggest this is because of the relative intensity of the field, and others because of the boys club atmosphere they have to endure.
But there is also the reality that cybersecurity women, like many other fields, tend to be paid less and promoted more slowly than men.
Where these explanations hold true, it is a failure of the employer to ensure Woman want nsa Camp feel comfortable in cybersecurity. Today, in part because of the personnel shortage in cybersecurity, managers are increasingly hiring candidates with degrees and experience in fields other than infosec. But women are also woefully underrepresented in STEM professions, so that pool is also male-dominated and cannot be relied upon to shrink the gender gap in cybersecurity.
The lack of women in STEM will not be cured overnight, so the Woman want nsa Camp pool will have to be extended to new fields of interest if the gap is to be closed quickly. With this stark reality as a backdrop, what is being done to attract more women to cybersecurity? And what other initiatives or adjustments to procedural and behavioral shortcomings can also be adopted? Much is already being done, with real, but varied impact that is finally starting to move the needle. More can be done and needs to be done if the shortage in the cybersecurity workforce is to be meaningfully diminished.
Some s emerging in the last few years have already begun to show the initiatives in place are having the desired effect. First, adopt a policy of diversity in Woman want nsa Camp teams, not just women, but all ethnicities and backgrounds. An article published by helpnetsecurity.
There is also an issue with many hiring managers and human resource departments taking a far too focused view of the potential hiring pool for cybersecurity. Many companies view STEM fields as the most fruitful source of cybersecurity candidates, almost completely ignoring other career paths. Women in such wide-ranging fields as compliance, auditing, psychology, and sales have all found success in cybersecurity. Retaining valued employees should be a priority of any organization, but with the shortage in cybersecurity, it has become an even more critical focus. Fostering more inclusive work environments is a must-have for consistent satisfaction of employees, particularly women and minorities.
Organizations must train all employees what true inclusiveness is all about, and make sure that everyone knows anything less will not be tolerated. The goal should not be simply to eliminate sexual harassment but to make women feel comfortable, respected and valued in the workplace. And of course, inclusiveness means real equality in pay scale and opportunities for advancement.
These organizations serve a positive role for women, helping to make them feel included and supported by other women. Generally speaking, though, such organizations are only necessary in industries where women are not already afforded equal treatment. The trend in these organizations is positive, though, so hopefully they are headed in the right direction. Recent conventions have seen a noticeable increase in female participation, as well as keynote speaker appointments.
Working backward down the recruitment pipeline, the focus moves to higher education.
Placement and career counseling efforts within colleges and universities must introduce cybersecurity as a desirable career option for students in a broad range of undergraduate and graduate majors. Promoting and providing access to industry training and certifications would also offer students a leg up in finding their way into cybersecurity.
Expanding course offerings and choices of majors within cybersecurity will help all students find their way into the industry, not just women. And opening the student bodies to professional organizations, particularly those serving women, will give students access to women already in the field.
Teenage women in high school, or younger, should be exposed to cybersecurity as a viable and desirable career option. Such efforts should also work to diminish the impact of the conditioning that societal gender biases place on the choices of our children. There are several initiatives around the country deed to open the eyes of students to see the attractiveness of cybersecurity.
The National Security Agency and the National Science Foundation co-fund GenCyber, a program that provides summer cybersecurity camps for students and teachers in the K grades. The program is free to all, and deed to teach safe online practices and the nature of cybersecurity. GirlsGoCyberStart is deed to be a fun and interactive online program to introduce high school girls to cybersecurity. Topics such as cryptography, password cracking, digital forensics and open-source intelligence gathering are taught to young females to promote interest in the field.
Free to students, over 10, girls have taken part thus far, and feedback has been overwhelmingly positive. GirlsWhoCode is focused primarily on young students looking Woman want nsa Camp programming as a potential career path, but it is working toward addressing the shortage of women in technology fields in general. The group promotes after-school clubs, summer courses, and summer immersion programs.
It also helps alumni of the program to succeed in college and interact with other women in technology fields. Recently, the Girl Scouts of America has begun offering a cybersecurity merit badge to incentivize young girls to Woman want nsa Camp themselves to and excel at cybersecurity. Assistance programs, financial and otherwise, are on the Woman want nsa Camp for women wishing to enter the cybersecurity field, or other STEM professions. These opportunities are related to college and professional training and certification. InfoSec, Inc. The National Security Agency NSA sponsors the Scopes Educational Scholarship Program for high school seniors who have demonstrated skills in the critical areas of computer science and electrical engineering and are planning to major in one, including cybersecurity.
The CIA offers several internships that provide tuition assistance to successful candidates, in addition to summer employment. The focus is on intelligence fields, including cybersecurity. Today, there are plenty of successful women in cybersecurity that can be viewed as positive role models and possibly even mentors by women hoping to break into and succeed in the field. Successful women can be found at industry conventions that provide keynote speaker opportunities to women, or online video interviews featuring female cybersecurity executives.
WiCyS offers a few such female infosec pros as role models. Here are a few video interviews available online featuring successful women engaged in cybersecurity professions. STEM in general, and cybersecurity in particular, have long experienced a debilitating shortage of female participants. But the dramatic rise in cybersecurity demands and the general shortfall in the available talent pool are now shedding a bright light on the lack of women in the field.
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