The White Hat Women Pipeline: Solve Today’s Problems for Tomorrow’s Cybersecurity

Cybersecurity has dominated the news as of late and is considered a major pain point for both consumers and corporations. Black hat hackers have become the veritable villains of the cyber world, calling into question the integrity of digital infrastructures. Their altruistic counterparts – white hat hackers – are few and far between. This is only compounded by the fact that very few organizations had made solid investments in durable cyber security until after they were hit by cyber threats.

Women in cybersecurity professions are just as, if not more, tricky to find. Consider this: 77 percent of females claim that not a single high school teacher or counselor encouraged them to pursue cybersecurity. Moreover, a mere 33 percent of women understand what a cyber security job would entail, and 52 percent don’t even believe there are courses in cybersecurity for them.

As it stands today, women make up only 10 percent of the cyber security workforce. The reasons listed above are only a few of the roadblocks preventing more women workers in the field of cybersecurity. The workforce needs more women to pursue data protection jobs. In just one year, the world will need nearly 2 million more white hat hackers.

Women could potentially provide a valuable perspective to this profession considering to this point the field has been so male-dominated. The first step towards more female inclusion in cybersecurity will involve the restructuring of perceptions surrounding cybersecurity. These positions aren’t for isolated hackers; they are fit for educated professionals with an interest in policy and process training.

Data security leaders need to start treating professionals in cybersecurity as the valuable and capable employees they are. There need to be major improvements in workplace relations as well as the reinvention of job postings.

For women interested in cybersecurity, Excelsior College has an extensive database of female roles models. Check out the National Cybersecurity Institute’s Initiative for Women in Cybersecurity today for all your training and career guidance needs.