Enterprises are increasingly pushing to have a more diverse workforce, except, are they really?

A study by Kaspersky has revealed that, in 45 percent of enterprises globally, the number of men working in cybersecurity far outweighs the number of women in the same team. Amplifying matters is the fact that only 37 percent of enterprises have programmes designed to bring more women into the sector.

The Cybersecurity through the CISO’s eyes. Perspectives on a role report also reveals that when it comes to positions of leadership as few as 23 percent of respondents in the study’s survey were women.

“The findings of this survey show that the situation in the industry is changing, but it’s far from ideal and we are still lacking strong representation of women. It’s not just a question of finding the perfect ratio of men and women. In the in-depth interviews with CISOs, many of them say that there are not enough female applicants in the pipeline. So, to address the gender gap in cybersecurity, we should encourage women to choose this career path,” says acting managing director for Kaspersky in Europe, Evgeniya Naumova.

This report is not the only one of its kind.

Earlier this month Fortinet published its own report in which it found that women are often more diverse in their skillset compared to men. When it comes to leadership, communication, analytical and personal characteristics, women simply offer more than men, more of the time.

And yet, women were still found to have been severely under-represented in the cybersecurity sector in that report as well. In that report it’s said that only 11 percent of cybersecurity professionals are women.

Perhaps the most boggling thing of all is that cybersecurity skills are in short supply and one of the solutions to that is encouraging diversity.

More than that, firms need to encourage more women to enter the realm of cybersecurity. Looking back at Kaspersky’s report, less than half of respondents say they are going to or are currently providing internship programmes aimed at female students.

That is unfortunately not good enough as 63 percent of organisations only hire fully qualified specialists. Of course, firms should hire qualified specialists but there should also be a push to have more of those specialists be women.

The fact of the matter is that gender diversity is not present in cybersecurity and that needs to change sooner rather than later.

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