Women in cyber security are ascending into leadership roles

Women in cyber security are ascending into leadership roles

US companies will add 546,200 new jobs in computer and information technology between 2018 and 2028, according to the US Bureau of Labor Statistics. A rate higher than the average for all occupations. Of those jobs, the bureau predicts a 32% growth rate for information security analysts.

Currently, women are emerging as cyber security experts, with a much larger influx of women entering the field expected. SANS Institute, an American organisation specialised in information security and cyber security, reports in its Women in Cybersecurity Survey that women are ascending into senior or leadership positions within their companies, often through different pathways.

“Women can have a tremendous amount of impact in their organisations regardless of their title,” says SANS analyst and survey author Heather Mahalik. “Your title and time in the field do not define what you know and the impact you can provide to this community. They do not define your impact or even narrow in on your capabilities – your actions do.”

In fact, 41% of respondents credited being in the right place at the right time for their rise into senior or leadership positions. That means they had to make themselves visible to decision makers. Others credited having varied experiences (38%) or pursuing certifications (34%) with their rise into a senior or leadership positions, both of which are within the control of the individual.

Mentorships are often part of the process of growing into leadership positions and continuing to grow once taking on such a role. However, only 7% of women in cyber security have been mentored by another woman, with 37% mentored by both men and women and 31% by men alone, which leaves 25% who have never benefited from being mentored.

“The future of cyber security is the responsibility of everyone,” continues Mahalik. “We need to reach out and become a mentor.”

Most survey respondents have done just that, with just 26% not participating in a mentorship relationship. Interestingly, the vast majority (57%) report mentoring both men and women, a positive sign for growing the leadership role of women in cyber security.

Full results of the Women in Cybersecurity Survey will be presented by SANS Institute in two webcasts on March 17 and March 24.

Source: PR Newswire


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