The global cybersecurity skills gap reached 2.7 million in 2021. Australia requires an additional 7,000 practitioners in the cybersecurity sector alone by 2024, according to AustCyber. Given the growing awareness about the gains of diversity for organizational performance, decision-making and responsiveness to real-world challenges, the lack of skills and diversity in the cybersecurity sector also implies that the sector is not operating as optimally as it could.

Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology (RMIT) University in partnership with the Australian Women in Security Network (AWSN) is undertaking a new study to explore solutions to overcome pressing skills and diversity challenges in the Australian security sector, firstly by exploring important gender dimensions.

“Current available estimates suggest that women comprise somewhere between 11% and 24% of the cybersecurity workforce. There is no robust measure of the gender composition of Australia’s security industry or a clear picture of the types of jobs that women are undertaking and the skills they possess,” said the Director of the RMIT Centre for Cyber Security Research & Innovation, Professor Matt Warren.

“By having a baseline and a clearer picture of the actual number of women working in the security industry, it will allow us to measure the success of initiatives to attract, support and retain women in the industry,” said Jacqui Loustau, Executive Director of the AWSN.

All members of the Australian security workforce, including physical security, personnel security, information security, cybersecurity and security governance, and across all genders, are encouraged to complete the survey. For more information, click here.