Improving Diversity in the Cybersecurity Workforce
Whether it’s attributed to race, sexual orientation, political views, etc, many industries lack diversity. Cybersecurity can be one of them, and organizations everywhere are rethinking how they can improve their diverse footprint. The pandemic created a new norm of remote working environments, which led 2020 to the highest reported year of cyber attacks to date.
Fresh perspectives in cybersecurity can lead to new approaches and innovative solutions. By improving diversity, we can widen the talent pool — something that will only continue to expand in the coming years.
Below, we’ll discuss a few ways organizations can work together to diversify the cybersecurity workforce.
What are some common diversity issues in cybersecurity?
- Lack of diversity can come in all sorts of forms, but gender is one of the biggest issues. Women are often underrepresented, despite the fact that they make up 11% of the workforce. In many organizations, they are also paid less than men.
- Technology sectors are known to be dominated by white males. The thing about cybersecurity is that all of these skills can be learned, and people from all walks of life can have so much to offer in this field. In a lot of organizations, a degree isn’t even required as long as you’re actively working to learn tools and improve your skill set!
How can my organization improve diversity in the cybersecurity sector?
- Be inclusive. Adding diversity to the staff is one thing, but all employees should also feel welcomed, respected, and heard. Some initiatives that can be put in place are observing diverse traditions and holidays, and you might consider re-evaluating formal policies and procedures to ensure everyone is treated equally. Many organizations have implemented Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion Committees to work towards these goals.
- Reinvent how cybersecurity is perceived. Cybersecurity is not just about the technology itself, but how people interact with technology. Although it is a technical subject, there are tons of soft skills that any person can bring to the table. Consider working with groups that support women in the workforce to attract more women to the field. This will promote engagement, encouragement, and support.
- Offer training. While recruitment plays a large role in improving diversity in the cybersecurity workforce, HR should have a regular cadence of diversity training that is updated frequently. By providing the right tools and resources to attract and support a diverse workforce, organizations will be able to hire on all aspects of professionalism, including integrity, communication and leadership skills, problem solving skills, etc.
What is your organization doing to improve diversity in the cybersecurity workforce? Share with us in the comments below!
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