Women in cyber security still earning more than men
In 2015, BeecherMadden reported that women in cyber security were being paid up to 30% more than their male counterparts. This trend has continued into 2016, and is most prominent for those in their mid-career. It is worth putting this into context of salaries within other professional services. Women in the UK earn around 9% less than their male counterparts, on average. When comparing male and female salaries across all industries, women earn around 20% less than men.
At the Analyst / Associate level, we see very little difference in salaries, when adjusting for education and experience. At the most senior levels, we also see little difference in salaries. Women at a senior level earn a very similar salary compared to men in a similar role, with similar experience. However, between Senior Analyst and Director levels, we see significant salary differences for women. This is the level at which women can bring additional skills, which employers are prepared to pay more for.
It is important to adjust salaries in light of previous experience and education. In one example, a female candidate with only 3 years experience in cyber security, received a job offer for 10% more than a male candidate, who had 15 years experience in cyber security. The female candidate brought a wealth of experience working with customers and experience in other areas of resilience. It is these additional skills that employers are paying more for. In the second example that we explore here; the female candidate received a job offer of 30% more than the male candidate. Here, years of experience and education are very similar. However, the female candidate had spent time in several areas of cyber and had superior customer and communication skills.
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
Clients are still keen to improve the diversity of their teams, especially in areas where women are under-represented. This is contributing to the demand for female candidates. Women tend to receive job offers sooner than male candidates and may have multiple offers tracking at any one time. Men also receive multiple offers but it is possible that the pace of the process for women, is contributing to the difference in salaries being offered. It would be incorrect to suggest that it is this demand in itself, creating the difference in salary level. Female candidates are coming in to cyber with the technical knowledge and business skills that are in demand at the moment. Male candidates with this mix of skills, are also getting good quality offers, typically giving them an increase of over 20% on their current package.
Job title Years of experience Salary bands Variation for female candidates
Analyst / Associate 1-3 £25,000-£40,000 0-10%
Officer / Senior Analyst 3-7 £40,000-£60,000 5 – 30%
Manager 7-12 £60,000-£75,000 10 – 30%
Senior Manager 7-20 £75,000-£95,000 10 – 30%
Head of 3-7 £45,000-£90,000 10 – 30%
Director 7-12 £75,000-£150,000 10 – 20%
Global Head / CISO 12-20 £150,000-£300,000 Parity