This is part of a running series for #IWD2021. We sat down with women leaders across the industry for a Q&A to get their insights on the state of women in cybersecurity. Recognize Women Leaders in the 2021 Tech Ascension Awards.
Amy Abatangle, Chief Marketing Officer at Netdata:
How has the women workforce in cybersecurity evolved over recent years? Where is it heading?
The number of women in cybersecurity has increased in recent years. According to a recent report by (ISC)², men still outnumber women by nearly 3 to 1. However, many trends are going in the right direction, with more women reaching the most senior positions and more women in staff positions being younger and more educated. As the workplace continues to reflect generational shifts, the gap between women in men in cybersecurity is starting to narrow.
Cybersecurity, data privacy, compliance and related fields are very attractive in general as companies compete to bring in top talent to address the ever-growing and evolving threats they face. As breaches grab headlines every day, the topic of cybersecurity gains more attention and mindshare with a new generation of talented individuals who are looking to be at the forefront of the technology industry, women and men alike. Many companies are also making new commitments to diversity and inclusion initiatives to address existing inequities.
While there is still a lot of work to be done, there has never been a better time for women who are looking to work in cybersecurity and related disciplines. The shifts that are already underway will only continue to accelerate as new generations of women who grew up online seek to bring their perspectives and talents to the field.
What advice would you give to young women looking to enter into cybersecurity?
Don’t be intimidated. There are terrific resources out there and available at every skill level, often with eager, engaged communities around them. Not only are there certification paths that can level the playing field, but there are also resources for individuals who are self-taught to level up their skills, from hands-on practice environments to open-source tools. Finding a mentor can be difficult, but can also be invaluable. Don’t be afraid to reach out to others in your field and explicitly ask for their advice. Many people are willing to share their time and expertise.