How Diverse is the Cybersecurity Sector?
Did you know that a Statista study conducted in 2022 shows that only 10% of cybersecurity professionals in Japan were women? Unfortunately, this gives Japan the title of the least gender-diverse country regarding cybersecurity employees.
You may think that this is unique to Japan and Japan only, but that’s far from the truth. Cybersecurity is undoubtedly a male-dominated field, and the study cited earlier only supports this claim.
Statista’s study on the least gender-diverse countries regarding cybersecurity professionals in 2022 further shows that women working in the cybersecurity field account for 13% of the entire workforce in Germany, as well as the United States. The United Kingdom and the Netherlands are also some of the least gender-diverse countries in terms of cybersecurity employees. In both countries, only 16% of employees working in cybersecurity were women.
Another Statista study conducted around the same time includes the most gender-diverse countries in terms of cybersecurity employees. However, even the numbers we’re about to showcase only support the claim that we need more women in cybersecurity.
According to this study, 34% of all Nigerian and Mexican cybersecurity professionals were women. Similarly, the percentage of women working in cybersecurity in Ireland amounted to 33% in 2022, followed by Brazil and India, with 31% and 30%, respectively.
The World Needs More Cybersecurity Professionals
Microsoft has taken another step towards inclusion after announcing the expansion of its Cybersecurity Skills Initiative to Chile, Argentina, Indonesia, and Spain.
After Microsoft’s announcement, the Cybersecurity Skills Initiative now comprises the following nations: Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Denmark, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Ireland, Israel, Italy, Japan, Korea, Mexico, New Zealand, Norway, Poland, Romania, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, and the United Kingdom.
The Cybersecurity Skills Initiative aims to join forces with educational institutions and nonprofit organizations to train and educate the upcoming wave of cybersecurity experts. Although the skilling program is available to anyone wanting to step into the cybersecurity space, Microsoft announced that they’re focusing on helping “historically underrepresented populations enter the cybersecurity workforce.”
The opportunity for women to work in cybersecurity is huge. Today, women make up only 25% of the global cybersecurity workforce so it’s more important than ever to encourage and empower women to pursue these careers.
Microsoft states in its announcement of Cybersecurity Skills Initiative expansion.
So far, Microsoft has been a busy bee, gaining significant insights during its work in this field. Its aim is to bridge the gender diversity gap by providing more inclusive and supportive learning environments for women. That’s one of the reasons this tech giant is all about creating new partnerships with organizations supporting the same vision.
To show they’re not messing around, Microsoft has launched a series of new partnerships with organizations whose primary goal is to help women in cybersecurity learn or elevate their skills. For example, Microsoft is now joining forces with WOMCY, Women4Cyber, WiCyS, and many more organizations and entities working to support women in cybersecurity worldwide.
Why Is This Important?
Microsoft reports that, so far, it has trained roughly 400,000 people, all of which have earned security training certificates. Proper acknowledgement not only allows them to land a job, but also get recognition and opportunities for further career advancements. And with four new countries joining the program, these numbers will only grow.
In its announcement about the Cybersecurity Skills initiative expansion, Microsoft tells the story of how the initiative has made positive changes in the cybersecurity sector. Look at their CyberShikshaa program in India, for example.
“We’re seeing success at a country-by-country level. In India, our CyberShikshaa program is working to close the gender divide in the cybersecurity field. Since its inception, CyberShikshaa has trained 1,250 women and employed more than 800 women. The newest addition to the program’s portfolio, CyberShikshaa for Educators with ICT Academy, will provide cybersecurity training to 400 faculty members so they can help build cybersecurity careers for 6,000 underserved students across 100 rural technical institutions and facilitate job opportunities for over 1,500 students,” the company states on its official website.
Microsoft’s efforts to expand the initiative is now bearing fruit, with more women than ever joining the cybersecurity workforce. Hopefully, the numbers we’ve presented earlier will soon show a greater balance and pave the way for a more inclusive cybersecurity industry.