Two years after conducting research into the state of equality in leadership roles across the cybersecurity industry, Eskenzi PR, an award-winning PR and Marketing agency specialising in cybersecurity, looked into how the dynamics have changed. The new research revealed that women only hold 21% of leadership roles, and 17% of board member positions within the world’s leading cybersecurity companies. While there has been a 5% overall increase in the number of women in management and board positions over the last couple of years, these numbers still emphasise a need for improvement.
The study looked at the websites of 150 companies from the Cybersecurity Ventures Hot 150 to understand whether the ratio between males and females in senior positions has changed since the original research was conducted two years ago. It uncovered that out of 909 board positions, only 153 are taken up by females, while out of 1649 management positions only 344 are taken up by women. Furthermore, one in ten companies listed no female leadership on their websites at all.
This draws attention to the fact a major gap still persists within the industry where companies could be missing out on the specialist skills women can bring to cybersecurity.
“Having worked in cybersecurity for 27 years now, it is still shocking to see how male dominated the industry is. The sad fact is that, at this current trajectory, we would need at least another 12 years or so to reach full equality,” said Yvonne Eskenzi, director and co-founder of Eskenzi PR and Marketing.
“I have worked with so many incredible women who have pushed for change and created an impact in this space. While this has certainly generated significant awareness, more must be done to see real change. More importantly, it shouldn’t be a burden carried by women alone. We need cybersecurity companies to take action, review their boards and their management teams and make a much more conscious effort to recruit women. Doing so will not only diversify their thinking and contribute to closing the skills gap, but it will also set an example for younger women to join the industry,” she continued.
The study also looked at the types of management roles women hold within cybersecurity organisations and it revealed that the majority still hold senior roles in either marketing, “people” roles or HR. That being said, the number of female CEO or founder positions rose from only 8 to 15. Other popular roles for women were customer facing (26), finance (30) and administrative positions (39).
Despite this small improvement, the study highlights that there is still a long way to go with regards to equal hiring in the cybersecurity industry.