The cybsersec gender gap is still wide

A new study by Women in Cybersecurity paints yet another dismal picture of the gender gap. This time it dives into its potential causes. The study is based on surveying both men and women across 20 different organizations. Women encounter problems at twice the rate of men, especially when it comes to their direct managers and peer workers. The glass ceiling is still very much in evidence. It is a sad description of where and who we are, including disrespectful and sexually inappropriate behaviors, underappreciated skills and experience, and requests to do menial tasks (she’ll take the meeting notes).

“Organizations have a clear opportunity to significantly boost their financial results and employee satisfaction by addressing these disparities,” said one of the report’s authors. The revenue impact could be significant due to this differential treatment of women and people of color. You would think that would be obvious by now.

I am ashamed about our industry that continues to make this news, year after year. Back in 2013, I attended one of the Strangeloop conferences, which always were notable in how many women presenters they had. I wrote a follow-up piece in Biznology a few years ago, tracking down some of the women that I initially wrote about. I ended that piece with the suggestion that we should follow some people on Twitter who don’t look like you and widen your focus and perspective.

Well, Twitter turned out well, didn’t it? Perhaps follow folks on LinkedIn now. You might want to take a listen to the “bit of fun” Mark Cuban is having at Elon’s expense on diversity, when he was interviewed by Lex Fridman (here is a 35 min. excerpt). He makes some great points on why it works.

Speaking of conferences, it wasn’t all that long ago when attending RSA, you wouldn’t find many women speakers. Last year’s event even had an all-women panel of female all-stars talking about threat response. I guess that is progress.

And in 2016 I wrote about how female engineers were scarce. Back then, I said: “It is time that all companies adapt to a more diverse workforce if they want to succeed. And we need to be on the leading edge in tech.” It is still time.

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