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Women Still Facing Challenges Amid Cybersecurity Talent Gap: Study  

Despite a cybersecurity talent shortfall, estimated at more than 3.4 million jobs, a new study shows how the industry continues to fail to make women feel welcome in its ranks.

female coderAccording to multiple reports, the State of Inclusion of Women in Cybersecurity (WiCys) study by the nonprofit Women in CyberSecurity finds that many women in cybersecurity experience a lack of respect and career opportunities. The study is based on anonymous responses from more than 300 women in workshops WiCys conducted in February. In all, 83% of participants reported at least one experience of exclusion. The leading categories for exclusion were career and growth, cited by 57% of respondents, and respect, cited by 56%.

Leadership was the most commonly reported source of exclusion experiences, cited by 68% of participants. That’s followed by managers at 61% and peers at 52%, compared with just 12% of participants pointing to workplace policies as a source of exclusion.

The share of women working in cybersecurity has hovered around 24%, according to WiCys.

Lynn Dohm, executive director of WiCys, notes that increasing diversity in the industry has to start with hiring managers acknowledging the issue. “If you say that no underrepresented populations… are applying for your positions this comes with assumptions that they do not exist, and this is not the case,” Dohm told Cyber Security Hub. “If CISOs are concerned about building a diverse workforce… then they should pay attention.”

Jessie Jamieson, senior security engineer at cybersecurity company Tenable, recently shared insights on how women can break into the industry. As People Matters reports, Jamieson said that being able to clearly communicate their work can help, along with networking.

As Dark Reading reports, women in cybersecurity also face underrepresentation in the media and a lack of role models, while the reality that cybersecurity is a male-dominated industry also serves to drive women away.

As SC Media reports, remote work and education opportunities could help give women a foothold in cybersecurity.

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