Increasing the number of women in the cybersecurity industry could bring the UK economy an extra $16.30 billion, suggests a new report from human layer security company Tessian.
The report also claims the UK economy could see a further $5.7 billion boost as a result of “closing the 24 percent gender pay gap”.
Examining the causes of the lack of female representation, the report found half (49 percent) of female cybersecurity professionals in the UK believe the industry has a gender bias problem.
Some said a lack of gender balance was a challenge at the start of their career, and that a more gender-balanced workforce would encourage more women to pursue roles in cybersecurity.
The majority of respondents also agreed having a more accurate representation of the industry in the media would encourage women to consider a career in cybersecurity.
Respondents also called for more cybersecurity-specific university curriculums and a greater number of apprenticeship programs.
“For organisations to successfully recruit more women into security roles, they need to understand what’s discouraging them from signing up beyond just gender bias,” said Sabrina Castiglione, Senior Executive at Tessian.
“We need to make women in cybersecurity more visible. We need to tell their stories and raise awareness of their roles and experiences. And once through the door, managers need to show these women the opportunities available to them to progress and develop their careers.”
“To many people, cybersecurity equates to - and is limited to - someone in a hoodie bent over a keyboard in a dark room. That’s not the case at all. If we don’t expand beyond that, we’ll lose out on even more people in the industry,” added Shamla Naidoo, former CISO at IBM.