The ‘Women in IT and cybersecurity’ survey report is now availableon 13 Oct 2022
The Warsaw Standard Chartered GBS Poland office hosted a live premiere of the ‘Women in IT and Cybersecurity’ survey report. The research, conducted together with Cyber Women Community, aimed to analyse perception of the IT and cybersecurity industry through women’s eyes and understand the challenges and opportunities for female experts or students who consider starting their careers in this field. The report also sparks discussion about promoting the field of cybersecurity among young generations of talents.
The survey invited over 200 women from three groups: women working in cybersecurity, experts working in IT but not specifically in cybersecurity and students of faculties related to IT. Virtual expert interviews were conducted, as well as a quantitative survey in form of an on-line questionnaire.
The general sentiment is very positive, with 92% of women being satisfied with their work in cybersecurity and saying that they would choose the same path again, if given the choice. This career gives them vast development opportunities and is highly engaging. They are also satisfied with the salary levels, safety and job stability, as well as the industry’s innovativeness.
Today, there is one woman for every three men in the IT industry. In cybersecurity however, the ratio is 1:6. Even though the field is highly masculine, there are more and more female experts joining, who can support other women, especially at the beginning of their professional journeys. This is important, since over 50% of women believe that men and women are still not treated equally in the industry. The main issues are limited trust in women’s abilities and not enough faith in their competences.
Other conclusions from the report:
- Over 2/3 of women connected with IT see cybersecurity as an attractive specialisation, and over half of the female students are interested in this career path.
- The main barrier to working in IT and cybersecurity from women’s perspective is feeling that their education is inadequate and lack of faith in their own skills.
- The best way to convince women to start in cybersecurity is introducing the field already at early education stages, eliminating stereotypes related to gender and predispositions, mentoring from other women and promoting females who are already active in the industry.
Creating an inclusive work environment is very important for us and 42% of our 1000 employees in Poland are women. Therefore, I’m happy that Standard Chartered had its part in preparing the report that will surely help to further promote careers in cybersecurity and encourage women to try themselves in this area. The conclusions are optimistic, but we also notice challenges for the future, like the need to boost women’s confidence in their own skills and presenting the vast scale of development possibilities in IT and cybersecurity. We have to show that this industry is open to female experts with various education.Anna Urbanska, CEO of Standard Chartered Global Business Services Poland.
My path towards cybersecurity wasn’t straight-forward, as it started from risk management and further specialisation in data governance and personal data protection. Contrary to popular belief, cybersecurity doesn’t always equate with technical education – and I’m the best example of this. People with knowledge of regulations, risk and project management or audit can find their place here, which confirms the complexity of this industry. It’s therefore important to be aware of those possibilities and be open to new career paths at every life stage. Employers should encourage and support such changes by offering reskilling programmes, possibilities to gain new competences and get certifications. I’m happy that our organisation offers programmes like SC Women in Cyber Acceleration Programme, which was established to support women starting their careers in cyber and those, who want to hone their skills in this area or expand their local and global networks.Agata Kulas, Head of Process & Controls, Data Management & Privacy, Transformation, Technology and Operations (TTO) Poland Location Head, Standard Chartered.
In cybersecurity there are many recruitment processes open, at all possible levels and in different specialisations. Well-educated and creative women can easily fill the employment gaps – I find it a great opportunity for our industry. Therefore, it is very important for any company to open to non-cyber candidates. We should give a chance to women with different professional experiences, who usually perform very well in their new roles. In Cyber Women Community, we see many examples of such successful reskilling. Cybersecurity and technology education should start already at a very early stage – primary and secondary schools, to continue later at universities. Internships, professional meetings and conferences enable us to showcase not only sophisticated technology we all use but also talk about non-technical roles in cyber (e.g. compliance, risk, data privacy, governance). Cyber Women Community promotes how diverse and full of possibilities our cybersecurity world is.Magdalena Skorupa, IT&D Platform & Architecture Director, Reckitt, CWC Council
Young people who are interested in working in cybersecurity need employers to trust them and be open to their needs. Sometimes I feel that companies don’t understand the students’ situation fully – we graduate with theoretical knowledge that doesn’t really correspond to the real tasks at work. We need some time, someone to show us the practical side of the industry. It’s really worth it because once we learn, we can spread our wings and move forward.Julia Swieca, student at the Warsaw University of Technology, CWC
Download the full report ‘Women in IT and cybersecurity’.