Women Now Make Up 24% Of Cyber Security... Or Do They?
According to a new survey by ISC(2) women now make up 24% of the global cyber security workforce. Really? That’s a huge gain from the 11% mark we have been holding steady at since 2013 or thereabouts and even if you add the fact that there are more millennial women choosing STEM related careers it begs the question what has changed in one year? If you read closely, ISC(2) now counts women in Information Technology (IT) that roles involve 25% or more of cyber security related tasks. Oh!!! So, they broaden the pool of women being surveyed.
Let’s take a look at the overall percentage of women in IT, the last reported percentage, by the National Center for Women & Information Technology in 2018, said women made up 26% of the IT field. That now tracks with the 13% gain in the survey. There are not too many IT related tasks that do not touch on cyber security at least 25% or more of the time. But are they truly cyber security jobs? The kind that is constantly talked about when you hear about the cyber security talent gap?
In my opinion knowing that IT professionals that perform cyber security related tasks are now included in the survey takes away the true representation of women in the cyber security field. The 25% of my time dealing with QuickBooks for my business does not make me an accountant. An overstatement but you get my point.
Don’t get me wrong, I am a STRONG proponent for women and minorities in the cyber security field and any gain no matter how small or large is well needed and deserved change. However, to change the fundamental question and include women whose jobs aren’t even 51% related to cyber security does not really give a true picture. It is a fudging of the numbers to make things appear better than they truly are, to make it appear that things are changing at a greater pace when in reality there’s still a lot of work that needs to be done.