Women In Security Speak Out On Why There Are Still So Few Of Them

May 13, 2015

Kelly Jackson Higgins originally posted 5-11-15

They're now CISOs, security officials in DHS and the NSA, researchers, and key players in security -- but women remain a mere 10% of the industry population.

It's a perplexing -- and sometimes annoying -- question nearly every female information security professional hears over and over again: why are there still so few women in their field?

Just 10% of information security pros worldwide are women today, according to the latest data from (ISC)2, despite the fact that women are getting more high-profile roles in the industry and that there are job opportunities aplenty. It's a reality that confounds and frustrates many women in the industry, who today represent a mix of researchers, chief information security officers, executives, and top government cyber security leaders.

While women make up a tiny fraction of the industry, the good news is that there are more of them with high-profile roles in security than ever before, a trend that was evident last month at the RSA Conference in San Francisco, where women in top cyber security official jobs at the US Department of Homeland Security, US-CERT, National Security Agency, the White House, and Department of Justice, were featured speakers, as well as security researchers-turned security executives and other corporate security execs.

Their ranks may be small, but women are gradually gaining more respect overall than in the early days, some women in the industry say. Even so, they still see very few fellow women following in their footsteps.

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