Boys’ club mentality still a barrier to women’s success in cybersecurity careers

The data showed a glass ceiling effect, with almost half (48%) of women experiencing issues related to career growth, such as getting passed over for promotion, significantly more than the 26% of men who reported similar problems.

Women typically hit a glass ceiling blocking them from further promotion 6-10 years into their careers.


The study identified a lack of respect as the primary source of exclusion.

“After introducing myself, I have had individuals ask to speak to a ‘guy who works in IT’ instead of me,” said one study participant, illustrating the forms such disrespect can take.

Other issues highlighted by the study include women being disproportionately assigned menial tasks, inadequate compensation, failure to recognise women’s contributions to the success of projects, ignoring women’s suggestions in meetings, excluding women from informal meeting (for example during lunch times) and tokenism.

Respect came out as the biggest single category of exclusion followed by “career & growth”, access and recognition. Other aspects of work including compensation, work-life balance and communication were far less problematic.

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