From the moment I stepped into the Information Security space, I was branded by identity. I was unable to just be that writer who liked technical subjects – I was instantly recognisable in the community. It came part and parcel with simply being female.
There is no doubt that there’s an issue with gender distribution in Information Security. Statistics from 2013 showed that women represented 11% of the information security community, and that remained static until 2018, when a study by (ISC)² raised that number to 24% by expanding the definition of the cybersecurity workforce. The numbers may now be saying we make up a quarter of the workforce, but a quick glance around any cybersecurity conference will show the dearth of women. My personal experience of the industry tells me that one in ten is more credible than one in four.
Are the gender diversity challenges really just rooted in the pipeline, or are there other factors at play? While it is true that there are few female applicants for cybersecurity roles, keeping women in the industry is another hurdle. Information Security feeds from many disciplines, most of which have more favourable rates of gender distribution. So, when the landscape becomes too difficult to navigate as a woman, it is easier to move back to the more comfortable environments that we’ve come from than to stay in an industry that seems inhospitable.
A key piece of the puzzle is creating environments that women want to work in.
Intalock is challenging the narrative that maintains the gender imbalance in cyber security, because we think it matters. Our commitment to diversity of all kinds has led to an inclusive workforce. Nikala Haber, our co-founder and Chief Operating Officer, provides a strong role model for our business. She’s helped form Intalock into a place where women can thrive. Perhaps that’s why 33% of our workforce is female. We’re proud of that number. And moving into the future, we hope that we will see that figure grow.