Diversity & Cybersecurity Careers
Author Jose-Miguel Maldonado
After years of working in the cyber field, I’ve observed several things when it comes to diversity. First and foremost, there is an obvious disparity between underrepresented groups (Black, Latino, Women, PoC, etc.) and Caucasian males that currently make up the bulk of the demographic of this industry. Second, businesses who make Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion a priority are 35% more likely to have some sort of financial returns above their respective national industry medians, as reported by McKinsey & Company in 2015. Lastly, we have two of the most diverse generations in history (Gen Z & Millennial) in the workforce, so I’m of the opinion that we should be doing everything we can to increase diversity in the cybersecurity field.
If we want to make real change when it comes to improving diversity in the cybersecurity field, here are my thoughts on how we can accomplish this.
Companies should proactively take steps to source candidates from new and diverse pools. Although LinkedIn is great, there are other places like ZipRecruiter or even Craigslist, that, in my experience, have contained more diverse candidates than LinkedIn.
Invest in training the current workforce, whether they’re trying to pivot from a different career, or are just entering the workforce. This can be done with mentorship, informational interviews, and volunteering and teaching people the ins and outs of cybersecurity.
Go a step further and invest in middle school/high school aged children and provide cybersecurity bootcamps, webinars, and other informational events that will get this future generation excited about cybersecurity.
These are just a few ways that I think we can close the diversity gap in cybersecurity.While not all encompassing, I do believe that these are good places to start and over time, we should see a more diverse group of cybersecurity professionals in the workforce.
In the effort to bridge the gender and racial gap in the workforce, CSNP has partnered with Palo Alto Networks. Through this partnership, CSNP shares opened Palo Alto Networks' jobs with its diverse talent pool but in order to increase diversity in the workforce, CSNP needs partners from all industries. If your organization is interested in becoming a CSNP partner, please visit csnp.org/partner.
About the author: Jose-Miguel Maldonado is the VP of Business Ops & Security at Rubica, a cybersecurity startup, and has acquired a reputation for creating cybersecurity champions out of non-technical people.