On June 22nd, Summy Jafri attended the “Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) in Tech and Cybersecurity” panel discussion hosted by the Association of IT Professionals (AITP). The panel was moderated by Lynn Dohm, Executive Director at WiCyS. The panel emphasized the need for organizations to take a hard look at their internal policies to evaluate how they can better recruit, retain, and support diverse cybersecurity practitioners. There are a wide range of simple steps requiring minimal intervention, that can lead to better outcomes for diversity in cybersecurity. However, organizations do not have to go about these efforts alone. A handful of new, shared resources could make a big difference in helping organizations learn from each other, understand best practices, and foster a cybersecurity ecosystem that is welcoming and inclusive to all.
The panel suggested that cybersecurity organizations that succeed at hiring diverse talent should collect and share anonymous data about which characteristics prove useful for successful hiring. Companies should establish partnerships with programs that provide pathways for diverse talent and work to remove bias from their hiring practices. Organizations can support initiatives that uplift underrepresented profiles in cybersecurity, make select, non-sensitive cybersecurity projects available for educators and students to learn from for free, and encourage employee participation in school career fairs. A coalition of cybersecurity experts should identify best practices for mentoring diverse cybersecurity practitioners and create a repository of shared resources.
Building a more diverse cybersecurity industry is not only critical to creating a more inclusive America, it will also strengthen our nation’s security by bringing in new perspectives to solve thorny information security challenges and shoring up our workforce. Connect with a Trexin Advisor and learn more: