Do you expect the number of women in cyber security to increase ?
Yes! Studies are showing women should be at about 20% of the CS industry soon. When I was going to school for my B.S. in Computer Science, I was 1 of 5 girls throughout my 3.5 years in school. I had this idea that women in CS was a rare thing. When I continued on to my M.S. - I networked with so many professional women from the public/private sector and military that it motivated me even more to make an impact on the industry.
I've been to a couple of Security Conferences now and you would be blown away by the amount of women that are in the industry and the increasing amount of young women coming in as well!
Look for different groups to network with:
Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS)
Executive Women's Forum (EWF)
League of Women in Cybersecurity (LoWiCyS)
Women in Defense (WID)
Women in Security and Privacy (WISP)
Check out this link with more
Some offer mentoring, conferences, lectures, and other services to help you within the industry.
Desiree recommends the following next steps:
I don't work in Cyber security specifically, but I do work in IT and am female. I can say that the lack of female representation is recognized and almost every conference that i attend does have some women in Technology panel or component to it. I do see this push happening, but it is hard to say if more women will find the desire to work in technology.
Hunter recommends the following next steps:
The good news is that there have been a steadily growing number of women in cyber security. I do expect the number to increase even more, but I don't expect the numbers to be 50/50 any time soon. As in most STEM fields, the encouragement or discouragement often starts in elementary school. (https://www.nytimes.com/2015/02/07/upshot/how-elementary-school-teachers-biases-can-discourage-girls-from-math-and-science.html)
Because of this, the numbers often lag behind by a generation. This means we probably won't see a large influx of women into many STEM fields for another 10 years, which is disappointing because there is nothing preventing young women from succeeding and excelling in the field.
I have lead Cyber Security programs for some time now and there are not enough women candidate to choose from. I believe we must start cultivating relationships and start networking and introducing security in the high schools and work our way through the university systems.
While I always enjoy not having to wait in line for the restroom while attending conferences it is something that stands out. When we speak of diversity and inclusion it is important to remember that gender diversity is also important.
I do expect more women to enter the field and are seeing promising signs of this occurring. I do believe it is up to us in the field to help champion this change.
I do expect that to happen. I'm about to pivot from software development into security. I'm encouraged by the increasing number of females in the IT industry overall, but it has taken years to get to that state. Since security is a newer field, I believe it will take some time for the average number of women to increase. Getting involved with activities for female tweens and teens is important, so we can show them earlier on that security is a great field to enter (or anything IT-related really). I'm trying to get more involved myself, with showing girls and other women that I've happily been in tech for years and excited to start in security very soon. Sometimes they need to see that someone else has done it already and that they are happy with doing it.
Ruth recommends the following next steps:
I feel that we're in a very good time right now to be asking these type of questions. A lot of companies have been putting a lot of focus on their diversity and inclusion efforts and that means they're going out of their way to encourage more girls to take on STEM related careers and eventually get a better pool of women to bring in their companies. A lot of them are also revisiting their gender pay parity and developing new opportunities to develop future women leaders.
We are in exciting times so if you are interested to take on a career in cyber security, all I can say is you go for it! Put your heart on it and encourage more of your friends to consider it as well.
I think this is inevitable, and I'm glad to say Companies are actually driving and encouraging this, we certainly are.
I also agree with a previous comment that the scales are still tipped, but when you attend these industry specific events, it is given a nod and recognised, which is a step in the right direction.
We recently hosted a group of 32 students from Tunisian university studying engineering, the women outnumbered the men 20-12, quite an unexpected pleasant surprise.