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Research and theoretical papers
Published: 22-05-2017

Gender Inequality in Cybersecurity: Exploring the Gender Gap in Opportunities and Progression


Donna Peacock

Lecturer of Social Studies

Programme Leader BSc (Hons) Sociology

Department of Social Sciences

Centre for Applied Social Sciences (CASS)



Alastair Irons

Professor of Computing

Department of Computing, Engineering and Technology

Digital Innovation Research Beacon


cybersecurity computer security gender ICT


This paper considers the impact of gender in the cybersecurity industry.& There is currently significant underrepresentation of females in the industry caused by low numbers of women entering the field and compounded by a high rate of women choosing to leave a highly male dominated work environment.&

The findings are based upon a quantitative study conducted by means of an online survey that 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.&&

How to Cite

Peacock, D., & Irons, A. (2017). Gender Inequality in Cybersecurity: Exploring the Gender Gap in Opportunities and Progression. International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 9(1), 25–44. Retrieved from