HOW AND WHY WE HAVE TO SOLVE THE CYBER SECURITY GENDER PROBLEM
In Italy, women working in IT are only 14% of the total.
In Europe, 17%, but this value has unfortunately been decreasing for 10 years.
It is better in America where the value is 29% and the situation is slowly improving (it was 26% in 2019).
In Cyber Security, things seem to work a little better: in 2021, women represent about 25% of the global workforce.
In 2013 they were only 11%, while they were already 20% in 2019.
Therefore, a situation that is evolving, but still far from the numbers we would expect.
Yet it is now clear that the skills needed in the present and, above all, in the future will be those in the technological field.
Information Technology is now an integral part of our lives, both on a personal level, but even more so on a professional level.
We have reached the point where being able to understand the digital world has become and will increasingly be a distinctive element on a professional level, able to distinguish between those who will be able to undertake successful careers and those who will be cut off from this constantly evolving world.
On the other hand, the unemployment rate in Cyber Security has been 0% since 2011.
Cyber Security jobs grew by 350% from 2013 to 2021 and 3.5 million vacant jobs were expected globally (up from 1 million in 2014).
The good conditions are therefore not lacking.
But what could help the women of today and tomorrow to get closer to STEM technology and disciplines?
In my opinion, it is important to foresee interventions in three main areas:
Interest in the STEM disciplines must be aroused in the smallest ones right away.
It is important to propose educational games with a scientific and technological background and to allow girls to freely dispose of tools normally reserved for boys.
It is much more educational to play with lego or to learn how to use a screwdriver than to spend time with the usual dolls!
Science subjects should be introduced to children from kindergarten instead of reserving them for secondary school.
On the other hand, computer science should become a normal subject from the very beginning of school.
Technical training courses should be much more widespread and should be encouraged to give young people the opportunity to enrich their studies with specific skills.
In the same way, it is important to foresee retraining courses in the technical field for those who have to return to the world of work or want to change their path.
Women For Security, the Community of professionals working in the world of IT Security in Italy, of which our CEO Sofia Scozzari is a member of the Board, brings together Cyber Ladies with very varied profiles, from research to technical, legal, marketing and sales.
At this point, the Community has various activities under its belt in order to provide continuous training, awareness and updating on issues relating to the cyber world.
Among these, the Italian Cyber Ladies Lab (ICLL) is the work group with the aim of creating a permanent laboratory for monitoring female presence in Italian cyber professionals.
Among the main objectives of the Lab, to identify how many women currently operate in the world of cybersecurity in Italy, since this data is still lacking at national level.
We have therefore created a survey to identify current or future professionals (including students) interested in the world of Cyber Security in Italy.
The survey, available here, is totally free and takes only a few minutes to complete.
A small effort that will help us to photograph the situation of female Cyber Security in Italy and to better understand how to intervene to better target the Community’s activities.
Help us by filling out or sharing the survey as much as possible among colleagues!