Gender inequality in cybersecurity: exploring the gender gap in opportunities and progression

Donna Peacock, Alastair Irons

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


This paper considers the impact of gender in the global cybersecurity industry. There is currently significant underrepresentation of women in the industry caused by low numbers of women entering the field and compounded by a high rate of women choosing to leave this highly male-dominated work environment. The findings are based upon a quantitative study conducted by means of an online survey. The research considers the motivations, experiences and progression of those working within cybersecurity roles. The findings from the research indicate that computer security offers an interesting, exciting and challenging work environment, job security, and excellent opportunities for progression and development. Barriers remain for women though; despite the perception that anyone with the ‘right skills, knowledge and experience can work in cybersecurity’, it is clear that the respondents to this study feel that computer security is viewed as a ‘man’s job’ by wider society and by customers and clients, and that there is perceived gender inequality in recruitment, opportunities and progression.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)25-44
Number of pages20
JournalInternational Journal of Gender, Science and Technology
Issue number1
Early online date22 May 2017
Publication statusPublished - 22 May 2017
Externally publishedYes


  • Cybersecurity
  • Computer security
  • Gender
  • Women
  • ICT


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