It’s no secret that globally, the cybersecurity industry is male dominated. Studies from recent years have highlighted the gender imbalance across the cybersecurity space. For example, a 2018 report revealed that “women accounted for 10% of the cybersecurity workforce in the Asia-Pacific region, 9% in Africa, 8% in Latin America, 7% in Europe and 5% in the Middle East.” A year later, (ISC)²’s 2019 Women in Cybersecurity report revealed that women account for 24% of the cybersecurity workforce.
So, how can managers of cybersecurity and InfoSec teams hire for diversity in the current market? To learn more, we interviewed Carolin Grund, a Senior Information Technology Security Consultant at Cornelsen in Berlin. Cornelsen Verlag is a leading German provider of educational media, creating products for teaching and learning across a variety of mediums from printed word to digital and cross-media formats.
Read her thoughts below.
Working in educational publishing must be very rewarding. What made you desire to move into this arena?
Education is our future. So it is indeed very fulfilling to have the opportunity of making our future a better place. I started my career in the risk advisory sector at Deloitte where I could gain a huge amount of experience and I am pleased to bring my knowledge to Cornelsen Verlag who is one of the biggest publishers in Germany regarding school and adult education.
Can you describe your day-to-day responsibilities?
My duty is to secure our platforms, not only for our customers, but also for our employees and stakeholders. So I start my days with researching the latest cyber threats, opportunities and news. I negotiate security requirements with our department leaders and get involved in the product development lifecycle as well. Political work is also a big part of my everyday responsibilities as I report directly to our COO.
What types of new IT security challenges have you seen arise over the past year?
The pandemic changed our lives significantly in any possible field. Employers were forced to enable home office, which certainly changes all requirements given regarding cybersecurity. It is a big opportunity though, to establish the concept of NewWork. We have to think outside the box to enable a secure cyber surrounding for all of us.
What can companies do to create environments that support gender equality?
Studies have shown that the benefits of providing a non-gender-based hiring policy are immense. Companies must implement a non-discriminating policy to ensure no one is treated unfairly. Of course, non-monetary benefits like company-based childcare and the opportunity of reduced working hours help as well. Jobs should be given to people who fit best, not regarding a certain gender.
What steps do you think we can take to empower more women to go into technical roles such as InfoSec?
First of all, it is about a change of mindset. We must encourage women to participate in career building and developing programs. And very importantly: give women the opportunity to become leading in their field of talents.
What advice would you give to other young women thinking about pursuing a career in cybersecurity?
Believe in your dreams and your interests: do not let anyone tell you that you cannot do it. I started to write my first code and assemble PC’s at the age of ten. When I started studying Business Informatics whilst working full-time for Deloitte, many people said it is impossible to succeed. In fact, I got my Science degree in shorter than average time and I just got promoted to ISO of Cornelsen, so nothing is impossible. Cybersecurity became my passion, let it be yours as well!
Looking for your next InfoSec role? Get in touch with our cyber security recruitment team today to discuss our wide range of contract and permanent cyber jobs across the globe.