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Deloitte launches EMEA-wide initiative to close cyber security gender gap

Professional services organisation Deloitte expands its UK efforts to encourage more women into cyber security to cover the EMEA area

Deloitte has launched an EMEA Women in Cyber initiative in an attempt to help close the gender gap in the cyber security sector.

The initiative – which began in the UK and has now been expanded to include Europe, Middle East and Africa (EMEA) – is designed to help clients, experts and colleagues collaborate to develop ideas for closing the gender gap in cyber security.

Steps the initiative is taking include creating awareness surrounding the gender gap in cyber security, and developing a community which encourages women to pursue a career in cyber.

Phill Everson, Deloitte UK cyber risk leader, said encouraging more women into the cyber security sector is “imperative” to the industry’s success, and that the firm wanted to “spark change” that would lead to a more diverse workforce.

There has been a push in recent years to encourage more women into cyber roles – the UK’s information security (infosec) industry has one of the highest gender gaps and widest gender pay gaps in the world.

Many believe collaboration between industry, government and education providers is the best way to close the technology skills gap in general, and Deloitte’s Women in Cyber focuses on collaboration to encourage organisations to be more welcoming to women in tech.

Developed over the past three years, the Deloitte Women in Cyber initiative aims to help more women consider cyber security as a career by showcasing industry role models to help break down current industry stereotypes, which may be off-putting for people of a particular gender, background or level of education.

Currently, this push has been done through releasing videos of women already in cyber security careers sharing stories about their career progression and challenges they have faced as a woman in tech.

Cyber roles have been increasing in demand for the past few years, and experts believe that women may be the solution to closing the cyber skills gap in the UK.

But a lack of parity in technology roles and organisations can make the industry seem unwelcome to women, which is why part of the EMEA Women in Cyber initiative is encouraging firms to ensure that women have the opportunity to rise to senior leadership roles where possible.

Lisa Hamilton, Deloitte UK cyber associate director and leader of the Deloitte EMEA Women in Cyber initiative, said: “Deloitte’s Women in Cyber initiative aims to bridge the gender gap among cyber security professionals.

“We bring together our clients and colleagues across EMEA to find ways of creating awareness and collaborating on joint initiatives. We want to encourage more women to choose cyber security as a career.”

Read more about women in cyber security

  • Women in information security are quickly converging on men in terms of academic focus, computer science and engineering, and have a higher concentration of advanced degrees, a report shows.
  • GCHQ’s National Cyber Security Centre is planning several initiatives to ensure more women are attracted to and remain in technology roles, particularly cyber security.

Read more on Diversity in IT

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