Gender diversity in the cybersecurity industry is a key issue as we seek to create a larger, more representative, balanced and welcoming industry for all. As the (ISC)2 2019 Cybersecurity Workforce Study revealed, a global shortage of more than four million trained cybersecurity professionals exists, and women represent just 30% of the current workforce, meaning recruitment and advancement of women is a strategic imperative to limiting, if not closing, the gap. A separate report by (ISC)2 published earlier this year highlighted the surge of women into senior roles, but confirmed that there remains much more work to do to both in achieving true diversity in the sector and in making a career in cybersecurity equally appealing for men and women alike.
Every year, SC Magazine compiles its UK and European lists highlighting 50 women of influence in cybersecurity. These are women who, in the opinions of the magazine’s journalists and a select group of senior women in the industry, have had the most influence in the cybersecurity sector over the past year as leaders, role models or campaigners for women in the industry.
This year, two members of the (ISC)2 organization have been included in the list for the first time.
In the UK, (ISC)2 EMEA managing director Deshini Newman has joined the list, in recognition of her considerable work to advocate for growing the number of women in cybersecurity roles, as well as her efforts to raise awareness of workplace cyber bullying and the barriers to entry and progression that it creates for women in the workplace.
In the European list, (ISC)2 board member and CISSP Biljana Cerin was recognized for her dedication as a role model and active leader in the industry, particularly in her home country of Croatia. In addition to chairing our ethics committee and co-chairing our nominations committee, Biljana also serves as the president of the Cyber Security Affiliation at Croatian Chamber of Economy,
where she is actively involved in initiatives to strengthen the country’s cybersecurity industry through closer cooperation between government, business and academia.
The criteria for inclusion on these highly-respected lists is extensive. The panel looks at elements including each individual’s public speaking activities, their published work, their demonstrated cybersecurity awareness and expertise, their use of social media to engage the community, as well as additional justification for inclusion from informal discussions with professional networks. As a result, inclusion is never trivial and the recognition of the work of both Deshini and Biljana in our sector is a delight to see. It will provide both with an even stronger platform from which to inspire and encourage more women to enter the cybersecurity workforce, as well as pursue a long-term career focused on inspiring a safe and secure cyber world.