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Viewer

Expanding the Profession

We know that there are a lack of resources for Cybersecuity positions.  It's more imporant than ever to build our community and try to create a diversity of thought and culture in our practice.  The 2017 Women in the Workplace report (http://bit.ly/2kGrZbQ) was recently released.  Disclaimer: Not all groups and ethnicities were covered.  My question to the group is what are you doing in your space to create a more diverse culture? How to you target different experience groups?

2 Replies
Newcomer II

Re: Expanding the Profession

Honestly, we haven’t been able to yet. We are still a small department (3 people) but when we hired the third person, we had zero women or minority applicants. We do a lot of talks to encourage people to get involved, both at work and at schools, professional events, etc., and we have approached a few different individuals specifically and encouraged them to look into it, but no luck yet. The three of us are extremely alike in many regards and do openly admit that we think the same way and would love to have other people with different backgrounds to add creativity into our group, so hopefully as we grow our department we can also grow our diversity.
Community Champion

Re: Expanding the Profession

If you look to hire based only on diversifying your workforce, isn't that the same type of discrimination as hiring only black people or only hiring white people? Would you really turn down an extremely qualified applicant because they weren't diverse enough for your demographic? As an applicant I don't think I would want to know that my best quality of my resume is that I was a minority (and I mean minority based off of whatever demographic was used to select me). If they were two equally qualified candidates I would have no problem adding the one who would add more diversity, but I would not turn down a highly qualified candidate for a lower qualified candidate just because my sole cause was trying to diversify the workforce.

 

I think diversity is a good thing and needs to start by introducing different people into the field, especially at a young age. I have a daughter who loves computer games, but when I ask if she wants to learn IT/information security she says "No! I wanna be a vet!". She is really good at IT  and I think she would love it, but trying to convince her is hard. So I am "letting" her download games that teach programming and other IT skills in the hope that she will have a change of heart.

 

The other thing I see a problem with is the schools lack of identifying and developing young talent. I used to sneak into the computer labs to write programs. I know. I'm a nerd! I knew more than my teachers did at the time. They didn't do anything to help me develop, just gave me all A's and came to me with questions they needed answers to. I wish they could have recognized me and the 3 others that were doing the same sneaking in to write programs.