There is no denying that tech companies are predominantly male, white, and Asian. The IT industry has yet to accommodate women, people of color, and other marginalized groups in the workplace.
This absence of diversity could be attributed to the many barriers that prevent these diverse groups of people from pursuing careers within the cybersecurity industry.
Addressing these challenges is extremely important, as creating an inclusive working environment allows companies to tackle challenges more proficiently. Additionally, a diverse workplace also promotes new ideas and fresh perspectives.
Therefore, cybersecurity companies must take the time to inspect the various challenges that women and minorities face and subsequently take measures to ensure that these barriers are eliminated. The following will elaborate on the problems faced by marginalized groups in the IT industry.
3 Factors That Compromise Workplace Diversity ForCybersecurity Architects
A variety of demographics, genders, and backgrounds result in more incredible innovation. So why does the cybersecurity sector resist it?
Let’s explore why a lack of diversity remains a problem for this industry.
The Lack of Adequate Representation In Education
A comprehensive study by Pew Research revealed that women in computing-related jobs only make up 25% of the overall workforce. The same study also showed that only 15% of women represent those working in the engineering sector. In those statistics, 7-8% of women include individuals from the Black and Hispanic community in the computing industry. Women of color are 5-9% fewer in the engineering sector.
Since cybersecurity also falls under the same umbrella, the above-mentioned representation also applies to it. Unfortunately, the situation is not expected to change in the coming years.
It is not reassuring to see that only 7% of bachelor’s degrees in the STEM division were granted to black students, and 12% went to Hispanic students.
Unequal Opportunities In The Workplace
Another factor preventing minority representation in the IT industry is inequality and discrimination in the professional environment. Essentially, Pew research also discovered the significant pay gap between genders in STEM jobs. Moreover, the same wage disparity applies to different races and ethnic communities. In fact, research shows that women only earn about 74% of their male counterparts. Similarly, black men are paid 78% of the wage paid to Caucasian men, whereas Hispanic men make only 83% of their peers. Unfortunately, the pay gap has also experienced an increase in recent years.
Social stigmas also play a critical role in creating barriers for women and minorities to enter the cyber security industry. For example, research by the American Association of University Women revealed a prejudiced attitude by teachers and parents towards women’s ability to grasp technical knowledge from an early age. According to this research, female teachers tend to project their anxiety to resolve complex problems, thus making the grading stricter for females. This can discourage women from pursuing careers within this industry.
Similarly, the social stigma also follows people of color, who are presumed to lack guidance from adequate role models to execute technical, problem-solving tasks.
The Bottom Line
The cybersecurity industry faces a significant amount of gender disparity in its workforce. The primary reasons for the lack of a diverse workforce are an underrepresentation of minorities, social biases, and stigmas. It’s also no secret that the wide pay gap discourages women and people of color from pursuing careers in this industry.