According to Women in Cybersecurity (WiCyS), the cybersecurity workforce is comprised of approximately 7% African-Americans, 5% Hispanic-Americans and 10% women, reflecting a serious need for diversity in the industry.
While those numbers are disappointing, the good news is that there are ample opportunities to increase those percentages. There are various techniques and resources available to those responsible for hiring individuals in these roles.
With one-million cybersecurity jobs available in 2016, there is more than enough opportunity for growth in diversity within the sector and various tools that can assist with this sometimes challenging task.
There are a dozen reasons as to why diversity is crucial for business. From driving economic growth and capturing a greater share of the consumer market, to fostering a more creative and innovative workforce. Securing a diverse workforce has only positive implications for all of the parties involved.
As communities continue to grow and become more diverse, it is imperative to foster the talent of all Americans. Those businesses which make a concerted effort to capitalize on the growth of women, minorities and the LGBT community in the workforce, will reap the benefits of the creative and unique talents that these groups bring to the table. A diverse workforce allows U.S. businesses to continue to be extremely competitive in the global economy. Businesses in the U.S. have the advantage of being able to hire employees from various backgrounds, in contrast to other countries which do not, or cannot consider similar initiatives.
So, now that you know why diversity is important, here are a few ideas which may assist you with your diversity recruiting.
- Societies, Consortiums and Colloquiums, Oh My! Get familiar with organizations who create and support initiatives to promote diversity in the cybersecurity field. A few worth checking out right now are the Woman’s Society of Cyberjutsu (WSC), The International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) and the International Colloquium for Minorities in Cyber Security (MICS) which will give you direct access to women and minorities seeking cybersecurity opportunities.
- Minority and Women Targeted Career Fairs. Research local, regional and national career fairs specifically targeted to women and minorities. In addition to the organizations mentioned above, many more organizations like Equal Opportunity Publications (EOP),Nemnet, National Society for Hispanic Professionals (NSHP), The Minority Chamber of Commerce, and the The Information Technology Senior Management Forum (ITSMF), to name a few, sponsor, support or have their own diversity career fairs several times throughout the year.
- Create a Diversity Web Page. Create a web page that visitors who access your careers section can click on to view your organization’s commitment to recruiting diverse talent. Use imagery that speaks to your commitment. It would behoove you to use images of actual employees, however, if your organization is not currently representative of a diverse workforce, use images inclusive of women and minorities in a business setting to convey the message.
- Share Your Diversity Success Stories. Diversity candidates communicate with each other, they assist each other and they share what it is like to be employed by the company or to interview with the company. Post testimonials on the website from minority and women employees, interns, and specifically from management. If your organization has women or minorities in leadership and executive roles, share their stories, and highlight their accomplishments as examples of opportunities that exist for all employees within your organization.
- Brag! Talk about your wins in diversity. As previously mentioned, women only account for 10% of the workforce in cybersecurity, if 20% of your company’s cyber security employees are women, brag about it! Post your stats on your social media pages, and speak to those stats when recruiting diverse candidates.
Implement some of these techniques to strengthen your diversity recruitment efforts and you’ll be well on your way to doing your part to close the diversity gap in the cybersecurity field.
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