Gender Dimensions of the Australian Cyber Security Sector
Despite the cybersecurity sector’s rapid expansion and growing importance, the sector is characterised by a stark under-representation of women.
The low level of participation of women in the sector means that the sector is not operating at its full potential.
The solutions to achieving gender equity are not clear-cut. Increasing women’s participation in the sector involves more than simply 'encouraging girls to study IT'. Gender gaps in workforce outcomes can be interpreted as signals of biases and barriers.
Making change is not easy. Understanding resistance to change, and the reasons why there might be resistance to gender equity initiatives is a part of the sector’s challenge.
A starting point to achieving gender equity is a preparedness to learn and a readiness to do things differently. If Australia’s cyber security sector can foster a genuine willingness to change and invest in an authentic appreciation of the gains that can be achieved through greater gender equity, diversity and inclusion, it will be well on its way to creating a more dynamic, vibrant and high-performing sector.
Learn about some concrete actions that you and your organisation could be doing to increase the participation of women in the cybersecurity industry. (A cupcake morning tea once a year is not enough)
Dr Joanne Hall is a Senior Lecturer in mathematics and cyber security at RMIT. With a background in abstract algebra, her technical research is on quantum key distribution and post quantum cryptography. As the Program Manager for the Master of Cyber Security Degree, Dr Hall has a keen interest in the cyber security needs of businesses and creating industry ready graduates.