Diversity in Cybersecurity
The cybersecurity industry has been facing a significant challenge over the recent years, if it’s not a significant shortage in the workforce, it’s the lack of diversity within the talent that is currently thriving in their cybersecurity careers.
This lack of diversity is not only a social issue, but it also has a weighty impact on the industry itself. What impact is this? And how badly actually *is* it affecting the industry?
Firstly, let’s talk about the lack of women in the industry. Although we have covered this topic in more detail, The cybersecurity industry has traditionally always been male-dominated and its clear Women are significantly underrepresented in the cybersecurity industry from entry level to executive.
According to a report published by the Centre for Cyber Safety and Education, women represent only 24% of the cybersecurity workforce worldwide. In the United States, women represent only 20% of the cybersecurity workforce, with only 11% of them holding leadership positions. The lack of women in the cybersecurity industry can be attributed to a variety of reasons, including gender bias, stereotypes, and lack of exposure to cybersecurity as a career option.
Lack of Racial and Ethnic Diversity
According to a report by the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP), African Americans and Hispanics together represent only 14% of the cybersecurity workforce in the United States. This lack of diversity in the industry can lead to limited perspectives and narrow decision-making processes. For an industry that is rapidly evolving and is always in need of fresh perspectives, the lack of ethnic diversity needs to be addressed. The unfortunate thing is, these statistics likely hold true for the broader technology industry as well, with a lack of representation from these underrepresented groups.
Impact on innovation and creativity
A diverse workforce can bring a range of perspectives and experiences that can help identify new approaches and solutions to cybersecurity challenges, challenges that are consistently evolving as the industry grows bigger, and more susceptible to cyber-attacks. A study by the Ponemon Institute found that organizations with a more diverse workforce reported higher levels of innovation and creativity in their cybersecurity practices.
Impact on the growing skills gap
We don’t have to tell you the demand for cybersecurity professionals is growing and will continue to to grow but it’s incredibly important to attract talent from a diverse pool of candidates. Without diversity, the industry may not be able to meet the growing demand for cybersecurity professionals. You must ensure your talent partner or recruiter is providing you with a diverse shortlist of candidates, challenge them and ensure the candidates you are receiving have a wide range of skillsets from a wealth of backgrounds that you can adapt to your business.
What should you be doing?
Promoting diversity in the cybersecurity industry is essential for creating a more innovative, effective, and inclusive workforce. We understand it’s a global issue but by taking small steps will allow the shocking statistics rise. You can promote diversity from within by ensuring you are fostering a supportive and inclusive culture and environment. If you’re attracting talent you can promote diversity by diversifying your recruiting practices, providing diversity and inclusion training, and partnering with diverse organizations, like we have mentioned above.
It goes without saying that by promoting diversity and inclusion, the industry can create a more innovative, effective, and inclusive workforce that better serves a diverse range of users.
If you want to discuss growing your team and working with a talent partner that offers a diverse and inclusive shortlist of candidates, please drop us a message.
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