Women are already in the cybersecurity industry, being a conquest based on talent, perseverance, effort and results. However, this sector, which is rapidly growing, is currently facing a serious problem: it has 3.4 million vacancies and there are no adequate profiles to fill these positions. This is the fertile ground that awaits for girls and adolescents, whom we must encourage to dream of a career in technology.
A Kaspersky study that sought to analyze the presence and evolution of women in the technology industry reveals that, when choosing a profession, school-age girls do not consider the technology sector as a job alternative and, in fact, it is at age 16 when young women choose another type of career and discard technology.
The causes are diverse, one of them is perhaps that the cybersecurity industry is involved in several myths and the main one is believing that to venture into it you must be an engineer or a professional with postgraduate degrees and technical specializations. Nothing further from reality; In fact, the top business and soft skills managers want for new cybersecurity hires are precisely soft skills, such as analytical, communication, and critical thinking skills, as these are not as easy to acquire as technical skills. .
When it comes to careers, there are many more employment opportunities in the industry that may not be so obvious, such as product and project management, technical support, training, communication (including journalism), marketing, law, etc. There is no single path that leads to a profession in the world of cybersecurity.
Another myth is to think that the cybersecurity sector continues to be a territory reserved for the male gender; There are many companies that today understand that diversity and inclusion is not only an ethical issue, but also a factor of business efficiency. But, beyond myths, I will share some realities of what the female presence in this sector represents today.
76% of the Latin American women consulted in the Kaspersky study responded that, from their experience, gender has not been relevant to progress in the industry because advancement depends on abilities, and 67% assured that their skills and experience were considered more than their gender when applying for their first job in the industry.
Soft skills such as empathy, the capacity for recognition and active listening are just some of the skills that are recognized in women and that are a factor of difference in management teams.
Another interesting fact is that 71% of the women responded that they feel confident that their opinions are respected from the first day of work in the industry and 53% said that the number of women in management positions has increased in recent years in their organizations.
As I said at the beginning, it is a conquest that we have made based on talent, perseverance, effort and results, in addition to the fact that companies have verified that they can benefit from the different points of view that men and women have on the same subject or situation.
The cybersecurity industry is waiting for the talent of girls and adolescents who are digital natives and who have made technology part of their lives since their early years.
Those of us who today have the privilege of being part of this sector have had to learn from it. We did not grow up with technology as our great ally and, despite this, we have managed to break through, climb positions and, above all, continue learning about issues that are vital for companies and users today: security, privacy and data protection of billions of Humans. That is the size of the market that awaits them.
–By Daniela Álvarez de Lugo, general manager of the Nola region for Kaspersky.