Deloitte: Perception Gap Stopping Women Joining Cyber Sector

Only 37% of working women believe that cybersecurity has job security, with 57% of women saying job security is an important factor for them.
Deloitte joins female-focused media company The FQ in examining barriers for women entering the cybersecurity sector

The campaign sees Deloitte and The FQ continue their three-year tradition shining a spotlight on 35 accomplished women leading the charge in cybersecurity. 

Aiming to recognise achievements, it also hopes to inspire future generations by highlighting the achievements and valuable insights of these women, like Karlie Kloss, founder of Kode With Klossy (a non-profit empowering young women in tech), and underscore its critical message: cybersecurity is a rewarding and accessible field for women.

A perception problem

Also as part of this year’s campaign, the companies have conducted research to understand why there aren’t more women in the field.

A sneak peak of the report, due in September 2024, revealed startling facts between the reality and perception women have about what cyber can offer them. 

For instance, only 37% of working women believe that cybersecurity has job security, with 57% of women saying job security is an important factor for them.

This is despite the cyber sector experiencing exponential growth, with sustained projected expansion that is projected to surpass a global revenue of $650 billion by 2030. 

More stark was their research that highlighted how women make up a mere 20-25% of the global cybersecurity workforce. 

Yet the cybersecurity sector is in a staffing shortage. A 2024 World Economic Forum white paper Strategic Cybersecurity Talent Framework stressed the global shortfall in cybersecurity talent and how it must be tackled rapidly.

Women in cybersecurity

"Women not only belong in cybersecurity, their unique perspectives are vital to safeguarding our ever-evolving digital world," emphasises Shelley Zalis, Founder and CEO of The FQ. "Closing the cybersecurity workforce gap necessitates understanding the roadblocks preventing women from entering one of the fastest-growing industries."

In 2021, the UK government released its National Cyber Strategy, in which it lists diversity as a key pillar for achieving the nation’s cyber aims.  Homogeneity in teams can translate into homogeneity in approach and thus blind spots when facing multifaceted threats.

This becomes increasingly important as the cyber sector enters a new threat landscape. With the burgeoning AI, the threat from more sophisticated cyber attacks grows, as will the volume.

"The evolving threat landscape demands innovative solutions," says Emily Mossburg, Global Cyber Leader at Deloitte. "The gender gap is undeniable, and it's crucial that we understand the barriers preventing women from entering cybersecurity. By paving the way for a more inclusive future, we can significantly strengthen our defences."

The campaign extends beyond inspiration, offering events that connect women with industry leaders and provide valuable mentorship opportunities. 

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