The Rise of Women in Cyber: Exploring Female Leadership in the Cybersecurity Industry

The Rise of Women in Cyber: Exploring Female Leadership in the Cybersecurity Industry

For many years, cybersecurity has been a predominantly male industry, with around 80% of the sector being made up of men. The stereotypical perception that cybersecurity is a ‘boys club’ has only been backed up by the abundance of images of men and binary blue tones you are presented with when searching the term ‘cybersecurity’ on a search engine. However, in recent years there has been a steady increase in women looking to break into the cybersecurity sector, with an impressive increase from just 10% in 2013 to 25% in 2022. So, with more women inspiring the next generation of female cybersecurity professionals, we thought it would be a great opportunity to explore female leadership in the cybersecurity industry.

The STEM Conversation

With women making up nearly half of the world’s population, it is without question that they deserve a seat at the table, both in a cybersecurity sense but also universally. However, studies suggest these negative commentaries and perspectives that surround girls and women entering Science, Technology, Engineering, and Maths (STEM fields) are founded in childhood.

 

Educational institutions have the potential to significantly draw more females into the cybersecurity sector, with mentorship and support programs serving as crucial elements in fostering confidence among aspiring female professionals. Logos, branding and wording in cybersecurity are all tailored to bring traditionally ‘masculine’ connotations, even found in threat terminology such as ‘man-in the-middle” attacks.

Three girls at school

Addressing and changing the perception of women in STEM fields not only encourages gender diversity but illustrates to young girls that they can feel included and follow in the footsteps of female role models.

Women in Leadership Roles

Although there is a greater number of men in cybersecurity than women, studies conducted by the (ISC)2 in their Cybersecurity Workforce Study show that a higher percentage of female cybersecurity professionals are reaching leadership positions such as Chief Technology Officer, Vice President of IT or IT Director. The study also suggested that women in cyber are generally younger and more educated than their male counterparts, with 52% of women in cybersecurity holding a post-graduate degree compared to 44% of men. These stats paint a promising picture for the future of women in cybersecurity, with Cybersecurity Ventures even predicting that women will represent 30% of the global cybersecurity workforce by 2025.

5 Strong Female Trailblazers in Cybersecurity 

Jane Frankland (Founder and CEO, KnewStart)

Jane Frankland is an award-winning leader, author a cybersecurity women’s activist, having spent over two decades in the sector.

Jane’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/janefrankland/

Amy De Salvatore at desk

Amy De Salvatore (Partner, NightDragon)

Amy De Salvatore is a fantastic example of a strong women in cyber, with more than two decades of experience working at recognizable cybersecurity brands, including EMC, McAfee, Intel Security and Forescout Technologies.

Amy’s Linkedin – https://www.linkedin.com/in/amy-de-salvatore-995607/

Jessica Cryzter (CRO, LimaCharlie)

With over 15 years of experience in the cybersecurity sector, Jessica Cryzter is one of the few female sales leaders in the security eco-system, leading the GTM efforts for one of the most disruptive security vendors on the market.

Jessica’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/jcrytzer/

Gal Helemski (Co-Founder & CTO/CPO, PlainID)

Gal Helemski is a renowned industry leader, boasting over two decades of expertise in crafting pioneering solutions for cybersecurity challenges.

Gal’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/gal-helemski-b9542231/

Shira Rubinoff (Cybersecurity Advisor and Executive)

Shira Rubinoff stands as a distinguished cybersecurity executive, and influential figure who has built two cybersecurity product companies and lead many women in tech efforts.

Shira’s LinkedIn – https://www.linkedin.com/in/shirarubinoff/