Women in Cyber

Organisations including OWASP, need women to lead projects, and these organisations have room for more female leaders.

Women currently represent only 11 percent of the cyber security workforce worldwide. This statistic is cause for alarm because it’s a key factor in the massive talent shortage that is impacting this crucially important field. It is estimated that, as of now, there are 1 million unfilled cyber security jobs, and that number is growing fast.

This situation poses serious security risks to governments, businesses, and individuals, which is why there have been increasing efforts in recent years to encourage more people to enter the security field.

Without women pursuing careers in cyber security, the industry is missing out on almost half of the population’s talent pool during a period in history when cybercrime represents a very menacing threat.


The low number of women in cyber security, and ways that we might encourage more women into the field, have received a lot of attention recently. This led me to ponder why it is important that more women become cyber security professionals.


I believe that women and others from a broad range of backgrounds can help to re-formulate some of the fundamental principles of cyber security, to answer in a meaningful way questions such as ‘What is it that information security enables organisations and people to do?’ ‘What are the values we hold dear that information security supports?’, or ‘What freedoms can we create through cyber security?’


List of Suggested priorities, policies, programs, and activities for the OWASP Board and community to consider and impliment.

Synopsis and Outcomes


  • Massive underrepresentation of women and lack of diversity generally
  • Imposter syndrome
  • Feeling underqualified
  • Feeling inexperienced
  • Internalised oppression


  • Panel invited speaker – at least one woman
  • Codify blind readings for CFP
  • Help Cultivate champions
  • WASPies and other awards
  • Ensure communications are inclusive
  • Discount to company with women


  • Bootcamps
  • Get women into management positions
  • Available training online or low cost. Specific public speaking training, webinars of women in cyber, cyber training
  • Communication/public speaking challenging workplace bullying
  • Spelling out clear business benefits

FOCUS on 3 key areas for the year 1 Webinars up and running – metrics demonstrating 2 3


The target audience for this Working Session is:

  • IT security professionals
  • Devops professionals
  • Developers
  • Managers
  • Social scientists
  • Creative designers
  • Psychologists
  • Philosophers
  • Organisational and learning specialists
  • Educators

Working materials

Here are the current ‘work in progress’ materials for this session (please add as much information as possible before the sessions)


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