According to a new survey by the International Information System Security Certification Consortium (ISC)², women make up about 24 percent of the U.S. cybersecurity workforce currently, as measured among cybersecurity workforce and IT professionals who spend at least 25 percent of their time on security work.

While men still make up a great majority of the information technology field, a higher percentage of women are reaching upper-level positions such as chief technology officer, VP of IT, IT director, and C-level/executive when compared to findings in the group’s 2018 study.

The study finds that 52 percent of women in the field hold a post-graduate degree in cybersecurity, versus just 44 percent of men. These percentages could be correlated with the higher percentage of women reaching upper-level positions, but could also mean that women are forced to work harder to break into the field, the study says.

One age-related trend seems to augur for women gaining a larger share of the cybersecurity workforce as time goes on: a larger number of millennial-age women are working in the field compared to men (45 percent vs. 33 percent). Generation X men make up 44 percent of the workforce compared to 25 percent of Generation X women, but as they retire, the large percentage of millennial women in the field could supplant the workforce.

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Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith
Jordan Smith is a MeriTalk Senior Technology Reporter covering the intersection of government and technology.