UK businesses need to encourage more women into the information security industry, according to GCHQ Director Robert Hannigan.
He called for more women to be recruited into cyber security after the latest Global Information Security Workforce Study showed that the infosec industry has the lowest proportion of women at just 8 per cent.
The research also showed that the UK’s infosec industry has one of the largest pay gaps, with men earning 15.5 per cent more than women. However, women in the UK were found to be more educated, with 50 per cent holding post-graduate degrees compared to 37 per cent of men.
The report, which was published by the Center for Cyber Safety and Education, is now calling for businesses to be more inclusive and to end the gender pay gap, with experts stating that recruiting more women into the industry is key to bridging the cyber security skills gap.
GCHQ is now taking steps to encourage more women into cyber security and computer science by offering a number of initiatives, including a competition that attracted thousands of young female participants aged 13 to 15 from hundreds of schools.
Speaking at the CyberUK conference in Liverpool, which was convened by the Government’s National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC), Hannigan said: “If we are not tapping into women, we are depriving ourselves of a massive talent pool.”
He also stated that diversity of thought is key for innovation, which in turn is key to the survival of any business.
“Getting people to think differently – throwing together different types – I am quite passionate about it for that business reason,” Hannigan said.
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