According to McKinsey, companies with a critical mass of female executives perform better than those without women in leaderships positions, because women are more likely to engage in people development, participative decision making, and other leadership behaviors that help companies succeed.
While this is true of all professions, the information security field is particularly in need of more diverse styles and backgrounds.
"Some of the skill sets that are becoming important for security professionals are the communication and analytical skills," said Julie Talbot-Hubbard, chief security officer at Symantec. "I've been trying to pull from other teams within Symantec to train on the cyber security side."
Diversity also helps build creativity. According to research from Center of Talent Innovation, employees at companies with diversity in management are 45 percent more likely to report growing market share for their companies, and 70 percent likelier to report that their companies captured a new market.
"The reason that diversity is so important to a technology company is that we're all about innovation," said Cecily Joseph, vice president of corporate responsibility at Symantec. "That's the most important thign we do. The more differnt types of people you have at the table, the more innovative and creative you are and the more competitive you are as a company."
Symantec has made a concerted push to expand the number of women in the company, especially in management positions. For example, the company recently tripled the number of women on its board of directors.
How InfoSec jobs can be great for women
What many women might not realize is that jobs in information security have the potential to offer significant advantages. High pay, promotion opportunities, and flexible work schedules are just some of the befits of today's information security career.
Joy Forsythe, manager for software security research at HP's Enterprise Security Products division, has a young daughter, and arranges her work schedule around her family needs.
"I can schedule my non-working time during my child's waking hours, and I can come back online after my child goes to bed," she said.
The flexible schedule, and the hours spent working from home, hasn't derailed her career, she added.
"I'm running the research team I initially joined as a researcher," she said. "It hasn't been a detriment."
In fact, given the high demand for people in the security field, the ability to have flexible schedule is helpful in attracting and retaining talent, she added.
Other reasons why women should take a second look at information security is job security and advancement opportunities.
"I knew this type of position was never going to be outsourced or sent overseas," said Sarah Isaacs, CEO of security consulting firm Conventus, when explaining the reasons she first decided to go into information security as a career. "There are two areas that companies always want to have in-house data security and networking. And those fields are still growing very strong."
When security consultant Tanya Baccam was first choosing her field, there weren't many women around and information security seemed like a boy's club. But, for Baccam, that was sometimes an advantage.
For example, many men who go into information security don't want management positions, she said. They're happy just doing the work. "So for women who want to manage, who want a leadership position, that's a great opportunity."
Baccam herself has served as the manager of infrastructure security for a healthcare organization, and a manager at Deloitte & Touche's security services practice. In addition to security consulting, she now also is a senior instructor and a courseware author at SANS.