Cybersecurity Job Demand Will Put More Focus on Underrepresented People

Cybersecurity Job Demand Will Put More Focus on Underrepresented People

Demand for cybersecurity jobs will increase attention on underrepresented groups

Recent data from the Aspen Digital Tech Policy center shows that underrepresented groups including Black (9%), Hispanic (4%), and Asian (8%) workers make up a decreasing percentage of the industry. These statistics on cybersecurity's demographics are concerning. For instance, although making up 51% of the population, women only account for 24% of the cybersecurity workforce.

On the other hand, there are around 500,000 unfilled cybersecurity jobs in the United States alone, indicating a structural yet manageable disparity. There may be long-lasting benefits for the cybersecurity industry if we band together via individual and collective efforts to change the existing climate for underrepresented groups.

What happened at the company's security conference?

The company's security conference, AWS  re: Inforce, which was held last week in Boston, had a positive message about diversity. Given the enormous number of workers required in cybersecurity, it would appear that in the future, cybersecurity may offer an opportunity for historically underrepresented groups to get into the tech industry.

At the corporate keynote, CJ Moses, the CISO at AWS, discussed the value of having a variety of viewpoints when it comes to keeping businesses secure. "Having numerous individuals in the room with various perspectives is another essential component of our culture. This might be introversion or extroversion, having various origins or cultures, or anything else that allows your culture to be pushing one another and looking at things differently, he added.

He continued by saying that innovative methods of thinking may completely change cybersecurity teams. "I also believe that fresh employees may bring a team a high degree of clarity because they don't already have years of prejudice or group thought ingrained in them. Therefore, our best practices recommend being cognizant of the interview panels' composition and including people from a variety of experiences and opinions since diversity promotes diversity.

Reinventing Cybersecurity, a book that examines how women and trans people are transforming the cybersecurity sector was just co-authored by Jasmine Henry, field security director at startup JupiterOne. Companies will, however, need to employ more diverse people if they want to complete that shift. Henry believes that the business, especially bigger companies like AWS, must increase diversity in the workforce.

"I believe that many people sincerely desire to break in. Since there are people who are willing, able, and interested in working, I prefer to think of it as a form of talent mismatch rather than a skill gap. Therefore, I believe that firms, especially big employers, have a big obligation to train these apprenticeships, upskill their workers, collaborate with community organizations, and train those who wish to fill those jobs, said Henry.

She claimed that when people like her advance in the industry, they may help others climb the ladder by assisting them in acquiring the abilities required to function in this business. "I graduated from college for the first time, and my family is not wealthy. I'm happy to have achieved middle-class status via security. I also have strong enthusiasm for mentoring others, especially first-generation college graduates, she added.

The IT sector has generally not done well when it comes to diversity. Zippia, a job-hunting website, reports that only 25% of technology workers are women, even though women make up half of the country's population, that 7% are Black even though they make up 14% of the country's total population, and that 8% are Latinx even though they make up over 18% of the country's total population.

According to statistics from The Aspen Institute, women occupy 24 percent of cybersecurity occupations, compared to black people's 9 percent and Latinx people's 4 percent.

According to Jenny Brinkley, director of security at AWS, Amazon does take its need to diversify its hiring practices extremely seriously. She claims that the business views security as a means of fostering greater diversity across the board. "As a firm, we're very focused on how we can assist," she said. "Whether it be through open source contributions to upscaling talent, to establishing and detecting skill gaps needed for these cybersecurity roles." According to statistics from The Aspen Institute, women occupy 24 percent of cybersecurity occupations, compared to black people's 9 percent and Latinx people's 4 percent.

According to Jenny Brinkley, director of security at AWS, Amazon does take its need to diversify its hiring practices extremely seriously. She claims that the business views security as a means of fostering greater diversity across the board. "As a firm, we're very focused on how we can assist," she said. "Whether it be through open source contributions to upscaling talent, to establishing and detecting skill gaps needed for these cybersecurity roles."

Brinkley agrees with Moses' assertion from the keynote address that security, in particular, necessitates a multifaceted approach. "As we consider inclusion, equity, and diversity as a whole, we can start talking more about neurodiversity. Security marks a turning point where we can start discussing how to develop and locate people to fill these roles. She continued that these are positions with the ability to generate wealth for families over several generations, and she sees a great opportunity for those who have historically been left out of the business and these high-paying positions in general.

According to Henry, she saw an opportunity to promote a range of viewpoints and see the diversity that already exists in the profession when she put the book together early this year. "Along the journey, I learned a lot about myself because I recognized that I had to be purposeful about diversity while gathering the writers as well, and know that a lot of people wanted to talk about identity. Through an intersectional perspective, they wanted to talk about security, she added.

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