Big Four firm Deloitte has expanded on its current initiative to encourage more women to get into cyber security across Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.
Currently women only represent 11% of the global cyber security workforce according to the 2017 Global Information Security Workforce Study.
Last week the Chatham House Making Gender Equality Happen event revealed that women are chronically under-represented in the technology industry.
At the same time, the cyber industry is facing an increasing shortage of experts and professionals.
Deloitte’s new EMEA Women in Cyber initiative is part of an attempt close the widening gender gap across the cyber security and wider tech sector, therefore addressing the lack of professionals in the field.
The project began in 2015 in the UK and has now expanded into Europe, the Middle East and Africa.
It will include clients, experts, and colleagues coming together to develop ideas for how to reach gender parity in this industry.
Promoting gender diversity in the cyber sector will be achieved by starting conversations, creating awareness, and building a community which inspires female talent to pursue a cyber career through this initiative.
With the fourth industrial revolution underway and the rise of cybercrime, like we saw with last years’ attacks like WannaCry, cyber security is a very fast growing field, and one that therefore lacks professionals.
As the industry continues to expand so too do the job opportunities, and yet women are still far less likely than men to work in cyber security.
Deloitte’s Women in Cyber initiative therefore uses many techniques and creative outlets to try to improve gender equality in the sector.
Currently, for instance, the project is publishing a series of portraits of female cyber security leaders across both industry and academia which reveals the lessons they have learned on their professional journeys and their own unique experiences.
These stories are helping prospective women in tech to overcome potential challenges as well as providing them with career advice and the skills they need to do well.
Klaus Julisch, lead cyber partner and sponsor of the Women in Cyber programme in Switzerland, said: “At Deloitte, we are committed to addressing this imbalance. We aim to narrow the gender gap by spreading awareness of the diverse career opportunities available to women in cyber security, by addressing gender biases, and by initiating a dialogue that helps women navigate the profession and its opportunities.”
Patricia Egger, leader of the Women in Cyber initiative, also said: “Cyber is a multi-faceted field that can seem obscure to those on the outside. With this initiative, we hope both women and men will be able to get a better understanding of what it means to be a cyber-professional and why it’s a great career choice.”