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
 

Recommended Reading:

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.
COVID-19: Latest Security News & Commentary
Dark Reading Staff 8/3/2020
Pen Testers Who Got Arrested Doing Their Jobs Tell All
Kelly Jackson Higgins, Executive Editor at Dark Reading,  8/5/2020
New 'Nanodegree' Program Provides Hands-On Cybersecurity Training
Nicole Ferraro, Contributing Writer,  8/3/2020
Register for Dark Reading Newsletters
White Papers
Video
Cartoon Contest
Current Issue
Special Report: Computing's New Normal, a Dark Reading Perspective
This special report examines how IT security organizations have adapted to the "new normal" of computing and what the long-term effects will be. Read it and get a unique set of perspectives on issues ranging from new threats & vulnerabilities as a result of remote working to how enterprise security strategy will be affected long term.
Flash Poll
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
The Changing Face of Threat Intelligence
This special report takes a look at how enterprises are using threat intelligence, as well as emerging best practices for integrating threat intel into security operations and incident response. Download it today!
Twitter Feed
Dark Reading - Bug Report
Bug Report
Enterprise Vulnerabilities
From DHS/US-CERT's National Vulnerability Database
CVE-2020-15820
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains YouTrack before 2020.2.6881, the markdown parser could disclose hidden file existence.
CVE-2020-15821
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains YouTrack before 2020.2.6881, a user without permission is able to create an article draft.
CVE-2020-15823
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
JetBrains YouTrack before 2020.2.8873 is vulnerable to SSRF in the Workflow component.
CVE-2020-15824
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains Kotlin before 1.4.0, there is a script-cache privilege escalation vulnerability due to kotlin-main-kts cached scripts in the system temp directory, which is shared by all users by default.
CVE-2020-15825
PUBLISHED: 2020-08-08
In JetBrains TeamCity before 2020.1, users with the Modify Group permission can elevate other users' privileges.