Women in cyber security – women are being paid less than a year ago

BeecherMadden’s annual research into women in cyber security has raised an interesting result this year. For the past two years, the evidence has shown that women were being paid up to 30% more than their male counterparts. However, this year, we could find no evidence that women were being paid any more than men with similar experience and backgrounds. This is a huge turnaround in the trend, with no obvious reason for the adjustment in pay.

Live examples from 2015/16

Female candidate - £74,000 job offer

• 20 years experience from resilience and technology

• 3 years experience in cyber security

• School level education

Male candidate - £68,000 job offer

• 20 years experience in technology

• 15 years experience in IT security

• Degree level education

Female candidate - £98,000 job offer

• 10 years cyber security experience

• Degree level education and cyber qualification

Male candidate - £75,000 job offer

• 9 years cyber security experience

• Further degree level education

Live examples from 2017

Female candidate - £44,000 job offer

• 4 years experience in cyber security

• 8 previous years work experience

• School level education

Male candidate - £45,000 job offer

• 20 years experience in technology

• MSc in security related field

Female candidate - £75,000 job offer

• 20 years information security experience

• School level education

Male candidate – £73,000 job offer

• 5 years information security experience

• 12 years IT experience

• BSc in IT

Karla Jobling, BeecherMadden CEO, says “parity in salaries raises the question about whether this a problem or not. Most women want to be paid equally; they certainly don’t want special treatment based solely on their gender.” The one area where women are still outperforming men, is in the speed in which they progress through the interview process. Female candidates tend to get invited in for interview, sooner, than equally qualified male candidate. Sometimes the difference can be quite noticeable. One client typically takes around 2 weeks to arrange interviews but for female candidates, the turnaround time can be as quick as 1 day. Female candidates also tend to secure job offers quicker. The speed that women can progress through the recruitment process, is indicative of companies commitment to diversity according to Karla. “Many of our clients now talk to us about diversity and how this is something they want to improve. The desire to hire more women never really explained the pay gap, but it does explain why companies move more quickly on female candidates.”

The benefits of having diverse teams, have a strong impact on a company’s bottom line. A report called The Bottom Line: Corporate Performance and Women’s Representation on Boards, found that companies with more women on their board had a 42% higher return on sales and turned capital into profit, 66% more successfully. Attracting women into security, is not a moral obligation but a business one.

What is also noticeable from our research, is that the number of women in cyber security has not increased. Industry wide, the number sits at around 11% although BeecherMadden are pleased that our database is slightly higher, with 15% of our candidates being female. At a time when companies are trying to improve diversity within the industry, it does not appear to be happening. Being one of few industries where women can out-earn men, was an excellent sales tool, to get women to take notice of cyber security as a career. There is much that the industry needs to do to attract new candidates, male and female, to meet the skills gap. Marketing cyber security jobs to women, particularly those who have other business skills, is an important part of that strategy.

Attached Media

About BeecherMadden

BeecherMadden are niche global headhunters in risk, resilience & security, technology management, operations and senior appointments.