One of the primary reasons that organizations suffer a skills gap when it comes to cyber security is the failure to attract more women to pursue cyber security jobs.

That is the conclusion of a recent study by CREST, the not-for-profit accreditation and certification body that represents the information security industry. According to CREST, it is estimated that only 10 percent of the global information security workforce are women.

“Increasing the number of women in cyber security is not simply for diversity’s sake, but for the sake of the industry,” noted Ian Glover, president of CREST. “One of our [2016 Diversity Workshop] attendees put it best, suggesting that by consistently taking people from the same backgrounds, we’ll keep coming up with the same approaches and solutions.”

The CREST diversity workshop looked into issues related to gender diversity and, more importantly, what is needed to resolve them. The workshop was attended by representatives of CREST member organizations and a variety of leading professionals from industry, government and academia.

“Although most of our workshop attendees agreed that cyber security is welcoming to women, the perception from outside the industry is very much the opposite,” Glover says. “It is clear that this is one of the major challenges we face.”

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