In today’s world, women in business is a hot topic in conversations and on blog posts. More women in the workplace is said to be good for business. We are a diverse group. And Diversity is being hammered into our subconscious as something all companies must strive for. But Why? Why is it important for companies to have a diverse workforce of women, especially in companies where women only make up approximately 20% of the workforce, like cybersecurity?

It is important to have clarity on why this subject matters. Women do not want to be hired simply to be seen as a number. We want to be hired because we are the best person for the position. We want to be hired on merit. We have come too far in the world of business in the last 50 years to become just digits.

In 2013 women made up only 11% of the cybersecurity positions. In the last 7 years that has increased 82%. We are being taken seriously. We see opportunities in this industry as boundless and are learning everything necessary to succeed. We aren’t afraid to fight for what we want.

Every trailblazing group has its challenges but we are certainly up to the task. The cybersecurity world needs women with variant backgrounds to help protect our sensitive assets. The attackers we are protecting our companies from, have a vast history of experience and knowledge. A successful company has a true grasp on this fact. A boss tells his employees what to do and how to do it and does not allow for an atmosphere of open ideas. A leader, on the other hand, is aware of how each employee can provide a layer of protection and strength to the company’s goals and takes advantage of the diversity from within. This is why it’s crucial for cybersecurity companies to hire women. We bring a unique perspective to an otherwise male dominated round table. A diverse workforce drives innovation.

Cybercrime Magazine predicted that by the end of 2021 there will be 3.5 million unfilled cybersecurity jobs. A survey was given to 300 women currently in cybersecurity. Less than half of them reported that they had entered the field from Computer Science or IT. The women came from a range of backgrounds including Sales, Art, Internal Audit, Psychology, and more. Women entering the field should not be intimidated by their lack of direct knowledge of the cybersecurity world. A large number of current positions require leadership, teamwork, communication and analytical skills. All of these requirements can be obtained in several fields.

In order to fill those 3.5 million positions, companies need to aim for 50 percent of cyber positions going to women over the next decade. During WWII women took over jobs while their fathers and husbands went to war. Today we are in a different war. A cyber war. As women, we must encourage each other to see the boundless opportunities ahead. In a world where our national security could depend on filling positions as quickly as possible, we are once again being called to create a path alongside an incredible workforce of men, who like our forefathers need our expertise and ability to succeed in an ever changing landscape.