Dark Reading is part of the Informa Tech Division of Informa PLC

This site is operated by a business or businesses owned by Informa PLC and all copyright resides with them.Informa PLC's registered office is 5 Howick Place, London SW1P 1WG. Registered in England and Wales. Number 8860726.

Risk

3/25/2019
10:30 AM
Rita Heimes
Rita Heimes
Commentary
Connect Directly
Twitter
LinkedIn
RSS
E-Mail vvv
50%
50%

A Glass Ceiling? Not in Privacy

According to a new study, female professionals in the US privacy profession outnumber males 53% to 47%.

The past few years have seen an explosion of data-related crises, from the Snowden revelations about government surveillance to the Cambridge Analytica scandal at Facebook to the constant drumbeat of data breaches at leading global companies, including Marriott, Equifax, and Under Armour. This in turn has boosted an industry of privacy professionals, experts versed not only in law and policy but also in technology and management of personal data. Uniquely in a corporate context, particularly in tech-related markets, the privacy profession displays gender parity all the way from entry-level positions to senior leadership roles.

According to IAPP research into the governance practices of Fortune magazine's top 100 publicly traded companies, more than half (58) of the companies surveyed had appointed a chief privacy officer (CPO) and that C-suite office was twice as likely to be filled by a female than a male. In privacy, large and publicly traded corporations have chosen to hire and promote women to fill roles at the top of the corporate ladder.

It's no longer news that outside of privacy, women have been left out of corporate leadership roles, and that their absence can have negative political as well as economic consequences for firms. In a 2016 report, the Petersen Institute for International Economics found that the presence of females in the executive ranks can improve a firm's performance, underscoring the importance of creating a pipeline of female managers ready and qualified for promotion — rather than simply "getting lone women to the top." Privacy presents an opportunity for women to advance into executive roles because there are many well-qualified and trained women in the pipeline.

Since its emergence as a profession in the late 1990s, privacy has always been gender-balanced, with women making up at least half of the population of privacy professions and holding their own in privacy leadership roles. Indeed, the first-ever CPOs were Acxiom's Jennifer Barrett Glasgow and IBM's Harriet Pearson.

This year's IAPP-EY Privacy Governance Report shows that in the United States, female professionals outnumbered males in the profession 53% to 47%. Consistent with our Fortune 100 research, gender parity extends to the senior ranks of the corporate hierarchy. Specifically, where privacy leadership was housed in a legal department, women outnumbered men 59% to 37%.

For companies seeking gender diversity in their executive ranks, there are many qualified females in the privacy profession pipeline. Privacy presents an unparalleled opportunity to hire and promote women into senior executive positions. Moreover, given the importance of privacy to a firm's reputation and brand (registration required), firms of all sizes without a CPO role should seize the opportunity to create one, potentially gender-diversifying the C-Suite while benefiting customers and the brand.

The privacy profession — a field that molds together qualifications, skills, and expertise from both STEM and humanities — is a model for busting the glass ceiling.

Related Content:

 

 

Join Dark Reading LIVE for two cybersecurity summits at Interop 2019. Learn from the industry's most knowledgeable IT security experts. Check out the Interop agenda here.

Rita Heimes is data protection officer, research director and general counsel at the International Association of Privacy Professionals (IAPP), a non-profit professional membership association headquartered in Portsmouth, NH. At the IAPP, Rita works with a team of privacy ... View Full Bio
Comment  | 
Print  | 
More Insights
Comments
Newest First  |  Oldest First  |  Threaded View
ChristopherJames
50%
50%
ChristopherJames,
User Rank: Strategist
4/22/2019 | 4:10:23 AM
Nature of job
There will still be certain industries that are going to see a major difference in the number of male to female employees. However, this does not in any way show the competence level of any of both genders. It is just a trend for employers to hire a particular gender based on the nature of the job.
Why Cyber-Risk Is a C-Suite Issue
Marc Wilczek, Digital Strategist & CIO Advisor,  11/12/2019
Unreasonable Security Best Practices vs. Good Risk Management
Jack Freund, Director, Risk Science at RiskLens,  11/13/2019
Breaches Are Inevitable, So Embrace the Chaos
Ariel Zeitlin, Chief Technology Officer & Co-Founder, Guardicore,  11/13/2019
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Navigating the Deluge of Security Data
In this Tech Digest, Dark Reading shares the experiences of some top security practitioners as they navigate volumes of security data. We examine some examples of how enterprises can cull this data to find the clues they need.
Flash Poll
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Rethinking Enterprise Data Defense
Frustrated with recurring intrusions and breaches, cybersecurity professionals are questioning some of the industrys conventional wisdom. Heres a look at what theyre thinking about.
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2011-2916
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
qtnx 0.9 stores non-custom SSH keys in a world-readable configuration file. If a user has a world-readable or world-executable home directory, another local system user could obtain the private key used to connect to remote NX sessions.
CVE-2019-12757
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Symantec Endpoint Protection (SEP), prior to 14.2 RU2 & 12.1 RU6 MP10 and Symantec Endpoint Protection Small Business Edition (SEP SBE) prior to 12.1 RU6 MP10d (12.1.7510.7002), may be susceptible to a privilege escalation vulnerability, which is a type of issue whereby an attacker may attempt t...
CVE-2019-12758
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Symantec Endpoint Protection, prior to 14.2 RU2, may be susceptible to an unsigned code execution vulnerability, which may allow an individual to execute code without a resident proper digital signature.
CVE-2019-12759
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Symantec Endpoint Protection Manager (SEPM) and Symantec Mail Security for MS Exchange (SMSMSE), prior to versions 14.2 RU2 and 7.5.x respectively, may be susceptible to a privilege escalation vulnerability, which is a type of issue whereby an attacker may attempt to compromise the software applicat...
CVE-2019-18372
PUBLISHED: 2019-11-15
Symantec Endpoint Protection, prior to 14.2 RU2, may be susceptible to a privilege escalation vulnerability, which is a type of issue whereby an attacker may attempt to compromise the software application to gain elevated access to resources that are normally protected from an application or user.