Women account for just one out of 10 cyber security professionals, as the gender gap widened over two years in a male-dominated field with a drastic workforce shortage, a survey showed.
ISC2, the largest organization that certifies cyber professionals, said on Monday that a poll of nearly 14,000 information security professionals in developed countries found that just 10 percent were women. That is down from 11 percent two years ago, said ISC2 official Elise Yacobellis.
"It is certainly alarming to see it go down to 10 percent," Yacobellis said in interview.
One reason for concern is a talent shortage. ISC2 reported earlier this year that 62 percent of respondents said their organizations did not have enough security professionals.
"We have a huge workforce shortage. If we brought more women into this field, I believe that gap would lessen," Yacobellis said.
The survey also found pay inequalities. Some 47 percent of men reported annual salaries of at least $120,000, compared to 41 percent of women.
It comes amid a broader debate about the lack of women in the technology industry, especially high-profile firms like Google Inc and Apple Inc. Women account for roughly a third of workers at many tech firms, with fewer in leadership and technology roles.