HomeAccessNo amount of money will tempt women to work in telco cybersecurity...

    No amount of money will tempt women to work in telco cybersecurity – BT survey


    Too techie, tedious and testoxic, say 99 per cent of women

    UK mobile operators will struggle to protect their clients because they can’t sell cybersecurity as a career even to the most desperate British jobseeker, says a new study by BT

    Despite the British public’s love of crime dramas, few are attracted into a career where you can fight criminals every day from the safety of an office chair. Neither are they attracted by the lucrative salaries offered by a career in IT. 

    BT’s research found that only 4 per cent of the population would consider a career in cyber security, even though 69 per cent of the same survey sample would consider a career change if given the opportunity. Only one per cent of women would want the job.

    The cyber security industry is still seen as male-dominated with 54 per cent of the survey sample imagining a cybersecurity professional to be male while only 18 per cent thought they would be female.

    However, the idea that cybersecurity is characterised by bearded engineers shivering in a chilled comms room is as outdated as the cliché of hackers in hoodies sitting in a basement, said Ciara Campbell, senior security engineer at Tenable.    

    “This couldn’t be further from the truth,” said Campbell. “Most of us work remotely once the installation is complete and not as much time as you think is spent shivering in the comms room. Although, it can happen from time to time and it is cold there. I have to say that the culture has changed a lot over my career. Many years ago I was told I couldn’t think of working in that position as I had a family to consider. There is no way anyone would say that to me now,” said Campbell.

    According to BT’s survey, there is a widespread perception that telco cybersecurity is for those with technical skills with few realising that soft skills, such as empathy and communication, are valuable. To help tackle these perceptions and the cyber skills gap, last week BT and CAPSLOCK announced a new cyber reskilling programme that will retrain current BT employees and equip them with the skills needed to pursue a new career in security. The training is also open to members of the public.

    Telcos are missing a trick with their unimaginative recruitment policies that undersell the joy of cybersecurity, according to Tenable’s Campbell. “I have always said to my son, do what you love and it will all fall into place and you will have a great career because you are happy. It won’t feel like work. If you want to work in an exciting and fast changing environment with huge opportunities for growth then Security is the industry to be in,” said Campbell. 

    “I can’t honestly think of any other industry I would rather work in. Even if you think the technology is not up your street there are so many other jobs in this area that make it really exciting. It doesn’t always have to be a technical position and you will still be excited about the industry and learn something new every day,” Campbell said.