Cybersecurity has a gender problem: Only 11% of the world’s information security workforce are women, according to the Women’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC) — a 501(c)3 non-profit passionate about helping and empowering women to succeed in the Cybersecurity field.
The small representation of women in cyber is a big opportunity for them to enter a field with a severe labor shortage. There were one million cybersecurity job openings in 2016. More than 209,000 cybersecurity jobs in the U.S. are unfilled, and postings are up 74% over the past five years, according to a 2015 analysis of numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics by Peninsula Press, a project of the Stanford University Journalism Program. Demand for cybersecurity talent is expected to rise to 6 million globally by 2019, with a projected shortfall of 1.5 million, says Michael Brown, CEO at Symantec SYMC +0%, the world’s largest security software vendor.
WSC states that 50% of professional occupations in the U.S. are held by women, and that 25% of computing occupations in the U.S. are held by women. That leaves tremendous headroom for women to enter the fast-growing cybersecurity market, which is expected to grow from $75 billion in 2015 to $170 billion by 2020.