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Breaking the Cybersecurity Glass Ceiling

Posted by Security Magazine on February 5, 2016 in News, Alumni & Friends, Alumni & Friends, Women in Tech, CORe-CS

Carrie Gates completed both her BSc and MSc in computing science, along with her PhD in Computer Science from Dalhousie University and graduated from her PhD in 2006. 

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When it comes to talent, the security industry and the business world are missing out on an under-tapped source.

Jeri Teller-Kanzler, Dr. Carrie Gates and Marsha Wilson are three highly educated, intelligent and thought-leading business leaders. And there are many more across the United States and throughout the world. But there aren’t enough.

A recent report by (ISC)² in partnership with Booz Allen Hamilton, titled “Women in Security: Wisely Positioned for the Future of InfoSec,” echoes the sentiment. According to the report, there is a lack of gender diversity in the information security workforce despite a cyber landscape that is rapidly growing and changing in complexity of threats.

“The information security field is expected to see a deficit of 1.5 million professionals by 2020 if we don’t take proactive measures to close the gap,” says (ISC)² CEO David Shearer. “Knowing this, it is rather frustrating to realize that we do not have more women working in the industry. Only 10 percent of information security professionals are women, and that needs to change.”

While women have represented approximately 10 percent of the information security workforce for the past few years, analysis from the last two (ISC)² information security workforce surveys shows that women are quickly converging on men in terms of academic focus, computer science and engineering, and, as a gender, have a higher concentration of advanced degrees. For example, women in information security are making their largest impact in governance, risk and compliance (GRC) – which the study identified as a growing role in information assurance and cybersecurity – as one out of five women identified GRC as their primary functional responsibility compared to one out of eight men holding similar positions.

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