The percentage of women in the information security sector (i.e., cybersecurity) has remained at around 10% for the past few years. While the total number of women in the field is increasing, their numbers are only increasing at the same pace as the field as a whole, thus the percentage remains roughly the same. 49.6% of the world population is female, 47% of the U.S. labor force is female, and less than 10% of the cybersecurity industry is female.
These statistics refer to the cybersecurity sector. What about physical security consulting? It’s difficult to find statistics for the sector, but my guess is that the numbers are even lower. Research by (ISC)2 indicates that both men and women in the cybersecurity industry get there by earning degrees in computer and information sciences; business; or engineering and engineering technologies. The same is not true of the physical security consulting industry. A large percentage of consultants are former law enforcement, former military, or former systems integrators. People may have degrees in criminal justice or accounting. This knowledge, combined with personal experience, leads me to believe that women are even less than 10% of the workforce in physical security consulting.
I have no statistical data to back up my claim, although I wonder if the lack of women in the sector is the reason why there is no data. Do women drive the push to collect data on the number of women in an industry? As a research professional, I feel compelled to search for data to answer my questions, and I haven’t quite found the information I’m looking for. Now maybe it is out there somewhere in dataland and I haven’t stumbled upon it yet. Maybe I need to be set straight by someone who has more information than me. Maybe it’s a non-issue, but I doubt it – I know it’s an issue in cybersecurity, and I know ASIS (American Society for Industrial Security) wants to increase their female membership.
Just some food for thought as we continue our series about women in security.