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Kaspersky report reveals women are underrepresented in cybersecurity in half of enterprises, but only 37% of enterprises have specific initiatives to address this

It has been proven that a diverse workforce brings new talents to an organization as well as improved business performance. Despite that, women constitute 39% of the labor force and only 25% of management positions worldwide in general.

What’s more, according to the 451 Research “Cybersecurity through the CISO’s eyes. Perspectives on a role report, commissioned by Kaspersky, 45% of CISOs confirmed that women are under-represented in their department.

In spite of those statistics, only 37% of such organizations have, or are going to implement, any formal procedure aimed at attracting more women in their IT security department.

According to the report, the most popular approach to attract women is to train those who have an IT background (80%). Almost half of these respondents say that they now provide, or are going to provide, internship programs aimed at female students (42%) or are ready to train candidates with little or no qualifications (40%). Only 22% hire female candidates from other departments within their organizations.

The rest (63%) said that they are only looking for fully-qualified specialists, with no consideration towards gender. However, as 70% of CISOs find it difficult to source skilled IT security specialists in different areas, there is a call for CISOs to look for other ways to bridge the talent gap.

The research also found that men outnumber women among IT security leaders. Only a fifth (23%) of respondents, who answered the question about their gender, stated they are women.

Nonetheless, the tenure in the role suggests that the number of women in a security leadership role is growing: 20% of female respondents have moved into their position as an IT security leader in the last two years, which is twice as many as the amount of men (10%) in this role.

“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,” commented Evgeniya Naumova, acting Managing Director, Europe, at Kaspersky.

“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,” she added.

For more info and to read more on the findings of the report, click here.