Category: CISO life, Cybersecurity Industry, SASIG Supporter

#TheFutureIsCyber, but the present is male

Zoe Edmeades, TSC’s managing director, examines Tessian’s latest report that shows the desperate need for people to join the industry and the yawning gender gap that still blights it.


Around a year and a half ago, I reported in The bigger picture – Attracting diversity in security the claim by the Global Information Security Workforce Study that two-thirds of industry professionals said there weren’t enough cybersecurity workers in their organisations. At that time, the gap in the global workforce was predicted to be 1.8 million by 2022.

I cited the lack of diversity as one reason and went on to explore what could and should be done. My premise was that, by improving the diversity of cybersecurity teams, there follows an increased ability to meet and address new challenges. Furthermore, it’s been proven that diverse organisations are more productive.

Fast forward to today, and my interest was piqued when #TheFutureIsCyber – Opportunity in Cybersecurity Report 2020 from Tessian appeared in my inbox. It makes fascinating reading.


Tessian reports a desperate need for cybersecurity professionals — there are as many as four million vacancies in the US and UK — with a particular need for women to eradicate the gender gap. Plus ça change!

Based on a survey of 200 women in the cybersecurity industry (100 each in the US and the UK), Tessian’s findings are both intriguing and worrying. For example, it says the largest barriers to women joining the industry, on top of the pay gap, are the lack of awareness/knowledge of the industry (with accompanying negative perceptions) and a lack of clear career development paths.

There are as many as four million
[cybersecurity] vacancies in the US and UK

There are some powerful quotes from successful female security professionals, including Hillary Benson, Director, Product at StackRox, who said: “People hear ‘cybersecurity’ and think of hackers in hoodies. That’s a bit of a caricature, maybe with some legitimacy to it…but that’s not all there is.”

A particularly clever section of the report is the easy-to-read question-and-answer format interview, where female industry professionals describe their role in a tweet and answer ‘why did you join the cybersecurity industry?‘. Their answers reveal the diverse range of issues women have faced, how they dealt with them and what they’re doing to open up the industry. It’s enlightening.

How do you compare?

Head over to #TheFutureIsCyber… report and think about how your organisational situation compares. I would be delighted to know your thoughts on issues you have faced, and how together we can help address them.

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