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The cyber salary gender gap is closing, slowly

A survey by Cybershark Recruitment, in partnership with SC Media UK, which polled 2,300 workers, reveals disparity between male and female pay

A new survey by Cybershark Recruitment, in partnership with SC Media UK, which polled 2,300 workers, reveals disparity between male and female pay. 

A mid-ranging male cyber executive can expect to take home £90,500 on average, while a female executive in the same field collects £86,500, according to new data.

However, salaries for females in the industry increased by 11% year-on-year in 2022, versus just 1.5% in the same period for men, which suggests that the gender pay gap is narrowing. 

Download the full salary list here

Emma Leith, director of consulting, Bridewell, said it’s important to recognise the 11% pay rise for women and the significant progress it represents. 

“The cyber industry is one of the leading sectors actively trying to increase equity across a diverse talent pool. There are several industry initiatives which are starting to improve diversity and inclusion. Combined with a focus on equity and transparency, it all helps to ensure the gap keeps closing,” she said.

Career barriers
Dan Baker, chief delivery officer at Adarma, said women still face barriers to progressing into higher paying roles, such as management positions, which have been traditionally dominated by men. 

Baker said: “Career barriers can be due to a mixture of gender biases and the work-life balance choices women often face. 

“However, the rise of hybrid and flexible working has gone a long way to removing some of these barriers. To ensure the gap continues to narrow, business leaders need to embed equity into their recruitment, promotion processes and push for greater pay transparency.”

Azeez Aleem, managing director for Sygnia Northern Europe, said it is “encouraging” to see the gender gap closing. 

“Companies are realising that the gender gap is not just about bumping up the numbers. Instead, it’s a realisation that you need a diverse team to understand the criminals. From our experience, we are seeing that gender diversity gives security teams the edge they need to counter threats.”

According to new research from Eskenzi PR, women only hold 21% of cyber leadership roles and 17% of cyber board member positions. 

While there has been a 5% overall increase in the number of women in management over the last couple of years, these numbers still emphasise a need for improvement, the study said.

Time for action
“Having worked in cybersecurity for 27 years now, it is still shocking to see how male dominated the industry is. The sad fact is that, at this current trajectory, we would need at least another 12 years or so to reach full equality,” said Yvonne Eskenzi, director and co-founder of Eskenzi PR and Marketing.

“We need cybersecurity companies to take action, review their boards and their management teams, and make a much more conscious effort to recruit women. 

“Doing so will not only diversify their thinking and contribute to closing the skills gap, but it will also set an example for younger women to join the industry,” Eskenzi added.

Download the full UK Cybersecurity Salary Survey 2023 by Cybershark Recruitment in partnership with SC Media here

The UK Cybersecurity Salary Survey 2023 polled 2,300 cyber execs across England, Scotland and Wales from November–December 2022. The online survey was conducted anonymously.

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