There is a common perception that the cybersecurity profession is led by and geared toward males. However, cybersecurity needs more young females in the industry to fill the employment gaps.
For decades, women have had challenges within the professional workforce for a variety of reasons. These challenges have evolved for the better over that time span, but they still exist to some degree, such as:
Limited opportunities: Until the mid-twentieth century, women had limited opportunities for employment. Jobs that were open to women were often limited to traditionally “female” roles such as secretarial work, nursing, and teaching.
Discrimination: Even when women were allowed to work, they faced discrimination. Employers often paid women less than men for doing the same job and women were less likely to be promoted to higher positions.
Lack of support for working mothers: Women who became pregnant often faced discrimination in the workplace. Many employers did not offer paid maternity leave or childcare services, making it difficult for women to balance work and family responsibilities.
Unequal representation in leadership roles: Women continue to be underrepresented in leadership roles, including in politics, business, and academia. This lack of representation can make it difficult for women to have their voices heard and to enact change.
Thankfully, this trend has been changing and women have increasingly been entering traditionally male-dominated industries. But it is still far from perfect and not yet equal.
Furthermore, women may still hit a “glass ceiling” which prevents them from advancing to higher positions. This is due to factors such as discrimination, bias, and lack of mentorship.
Women in Cybersecurity
There has been a recent push for more students to study and enter the cybersecurity field. With advancing technology and growing threats from across the globe, cybersecurity is becoming increasingly important.
Our goal at Haiku is to train and close the gap between cybersecurity positions and qualified people to fill those positions – regardless of gender. However, it appears there isn’t an equal number of young males to females in the cybersecurity field, and we aim to change that.
One of our strategies to encourage young women to learn about cybersecurity is through our role-playing games (RPG) teaching format. Many people are surprised to know that 60% of RPG’ers are young women. But ironically, only 24% of cybersecurity professionals are women.
“The ‘serious game’ format is far more accommodating to learning styles of groups who might not naturally be drawn to a STEM [science, tech, engineering & math] curriculum,” Haiku CEO Eric Basu said.
Furthermore, there is a misconception that cybersecurity is only for certain types of people. According to the World Economic Forum, “Women with low awareness of cybersecurity have negative perceptions of people who work in the field. We found that women with little knowledge of cybersecurity regard those working in the field as ‘nerds’ or ‘hackers’. Conversely, women who have greater awareness of cybersecurity have a more positive perception of such workers, thinking of them as ‘cool coders’”.
We are here to tell you that cybersecurity is for everyone and we at Haiku welcome anyone.
We can all do our part in getting more young women into the cybersecurity workforce industry. Examples such as:
Raising awareness: One of the biggest barriers for young women entering the cybersecurity field is a lack of awareness. Educating women about the field and its potential for career growth and impact can help encourage more women to consider it as a career choice. Tell them how Haiku can help.
Role models and mentors: Women are more likely to pursue careers in fields where they see other women succeeding. Having strong female role models and mentors can help inspire women to enter the field and provide them with guidance and support. We can all help start a movement.
Training and education: Providing training and education opportunities specifically geared towards women can help them develop the skills they need to enter the field.
That’s where Haiku comes in. We provide real-world training for all cybersecurity skill levels, from complete beginner all the way up to advanced hacking strategies.
And now we would like to see more young women get involved in the cybersecurity profession. In fact, several of our representatives from the Haiku team recently participated in a presentation and demo for educational members from a local community, including students themselves.
The feedback was tremendous, and the students and staff alike were elated with our platform.
Lisa Easterly, President and CEO of Cyber Center of Excellence, spoke with Eric Basu, and told him, “Javier [program manager] reported that at least 5 students who engaged with Haiku – and had previously been focusing on Political Science, Fine Arts, and General pathways – decided to change their focus to Information and Communications Technology (ICT) with a stated intent of pursuing Cybersecurity as a career. Three of these students are women.”
We also maintain strong ties with the Girl Scouts of San Diego who use our Haiku platform for their Cybersecurity Badge. It is one of the many ways we encourage young women everywhere to get involved in our cybersecurity program.
If you are a young woman considering jumping into cybersecurity as a career path, you are not alone. And when you are ready to jump into the industry and get your training started, we will be here with open arms to welcome you to Haiku.
Experience cybersecurity training that's not only enjoyable but also unforgettable. Haiku stands at the forefront of cybersecurity upskilling, leveraging video games to immerse you in a flow state for accelerated, enduring learning.