There is one thing that is true about the Cybersecurity world: It is a hot and growing field, and only expected to grow in demand in the long term. If you’re a parent and if you have kids in high school, tell ‘em to study hard and get a degree in computer science or computer technology, along with the necessary certs.
From what I have seen, in the end it is really the amount of experience that one has which is the most crucial factor, but having a degree in computer science or so is also viewed very strongly as well by employers. Liberal arts degrees just won’t cut it any more.
Also, I have written about the workforce composition that makes up the jobs in Cyber security. From the research I have done, it seems like that this is pretty much a male dominated field, but the ranks of the women are growing. I also have written hundreds of articles about the various Cyber security certs that are out there, and yet once again, men make up most of the ranks in this regard as well.
But despite these differences in terms of the total number of both men and women in the Cybersecurity workforce (at least here in the United States), there is one thing that seems to be a common denominator: Both genders share (or actually almost share) the same types of workplace values. This is at least according to a survey that was conducted by ISC^2 Research. They polled 250 professionals, and here is a summary of their findings:
*85% of both men and women are always open to newer opportunities or are actively looking for new ones.
*There is a salary discrepancy of about $5,000 between men and women workers (this means that women earn 3% less than their male counterparts), but overall, it appears that women are actually happier than the men in their current job roles.
*It was discovered that women only make up 11% of the total Cyber security workforce, with the remainder of the gap being filled by males.
*50% of men and 48% of women rank salary is probably the most important factor when looking for a new position, whereas 38% of both genders rank pay as “somewhat important”. But overall, 50% of the women seemed to be happy with their current level of pay versus only 33% of the men whom are currently happy with their current level of pay.
*When finding new opportunities, 78% of men and 73% of women consider having the workplace near home and family as somewhat or very important.
*67% of women and 60% of men seem to highly value the proposition that “protecting people and data” is of utmost importance in their current job roles and when seeking out new opportunities.
*34% of males and 22% of females deemed it important as to how their employer should evaluate them.
*In terms of job satisfaction when a security breach has been stopped, both genders rank equally – 46% for females and 37% for males.
*Men place a higher value on influencing their organization’s leadership – 22% vs. 16% for women.
*When it comes to reviewing new positions, women pay more attention to the job description and want more assurances that security is being well; whereas men are more likely to seek information about current security vulnerabilities at the prospective place of employment.
*In terms of working for a company with a strong mission statement that benefits society, 62% of women cited it as important, when compared to 44% their male counterparts.
*Women (73%) also edged out men (66%) on the importance they place on having their opinions taken seriously by management.
*It was also discovered that women place a much higher value on the following than vs. men:
- Strong mission to benefit society
- Current field or industry
- Working near home and family
- Flexible working arrangements
- Protecting people and their data
- Having their opinions taken seriously
- Adherence to a code of ethics
- Working with a cool product or service
So, there you have it. Yes, there is a huge gap in the gender difference in the Cyber security workforce, and women have also expressed that they have been sexually harassed, verbally abused, and even tasked to do menial job duties than their male counterparts. But you want my opinion? I think that women probably make far better employees in the Cyber security workforce than the males do, and I am a male.
Based on from what I have seen, read and researched about, it appears that women probably would make far more stable and long term employees than their male counterparts. They seem to have a much more caring attitude, seem to care about the welfare of protecting society in terms of Cyber attacks, and also appear to think in much broader terms than us males do, as well as keeping an open mind on issues and matters.
While there is no doubt that compensation is a key factor in looking at or even accepting a new position, it appears that men are much more “money hungry” and only care about the short term than their female counterparts. Thus, my conclusion is that there has to be a greater emphasis and push by Cyber security companies to recruit women employees.