Women in Cybersecurity Paid 21% Less Than Men

Almost a third of the global cybersecurity workforce is now female, but discrimination and a major gender pay gap continue to blight the industry, according to newly released findings from (ISC)2.

The security certifications company analyzed data from its (ISC)2 Cybersecurity Workforce Study in order to better understand the role women play in the sector.

Some of the findings were fairly positive: survey respondents estimated that women comprise more than 30% of their teams today, up from around a quarter last year.

What’s more, 63% said they planned a career in the industry from as early on as their university days, a greater proportion than for men (54%). Over half (53%) started their careers in the profession, versus just 38% of men.

Women also see cybersecurity as a long-term career: over two-thirds (68%) said they plan to stay put for the remainder of their working lives. Some 69% of women versus 66% of men said they are either very or somewhat satisfied with their jobs, with women more likely to be “very satisfied” (34% versus 27%).

Yet while this bodes well for the future, there are still major challenges facing women in cybersecurity which could perpetuate gender imbalance in the sector.

Over a fifth (22%) cited discrimination as an issue they’d experienced in their careers, versus just 13% of men.

Women are also being paid significantly less than men, especially in North America and Europe.

The average salary for female cybersecurity employees in North America is just under $80,000, versus an average of around $96,500 for men. In Europe, the average salary for women is about $40,500 compared to $67,000 for men.

Overall, women are paid around 21% less than their male counterparts globally. Although this may reflect much broader societal challenges, the need for parity is particularly urgent in a cybersecurity industry where skills shortages are so acute.

“Women in the field face more discrimination and receive lower compensation than men. If these inequities are corrected, the cybersecurity profession may attract more women,” concluded (ISC)community manager, Andrea Moore.

“This would benefit business, by boosting diversity and attracting different points of view, and for the industry, by helping to close the workforce gap of four million workers.”

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