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Need to increase women presence in cyber security sector

KnowBe4 Africa Managing Director, Anna Collard
KnowBe4 Africa Managing Director, Anna Collard

JOHANNESBURG – THERE is a pressing need to empower women within the cyber security space amid the challenge of limited skills in the industry.

This is according to an executive as women are also bearing the brunt of the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.

“There is a growing body of research that points to how women have been set back by decades thanks to the global pandemic,” says Anna Collard, Senior Vice President of Content Strategy and Evangelist at KnowBe4 Africa.

According to the cyber security company, Women are often the sole breadwinners in their families, and they often work in roles that will be replaced in the future – or have already been replaced.

The average ratio of women in the cyber security industry is 20 percent, in Africa it is only 9 percent and in executive management, women only take up 1 percent of the roles, according to Nir Kshetri, professor of management at the University of North Carolina.

Women are facing a real danger of being left behind and considering that the current cybersecurity skills shortage is sitting at 3,12 million and that job vacancies are expanding, it is a superb opportunity for organisations to invest into new ways of attracting women to join the industry, the experts believe.

“Organisations across Africa must care about skills development to overcome the skills shortage predicament,” Collard added.

She believes it is initiatives like GovX or Cyber Heroines that actively encourage people to become part of the cyber security industry, and that help to develop their skills.

“This is one career that is set to grow and evolve over the next few years, and we need to inspire people to recognise it as such.”

KnowBe4 currently works with government and other leading industry players on the Gov-X innovation challenge.

– CAJ News




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