Here is why we need more diversity programs in cybersecurity
Diverse companies are stronger, with broader skills, and brew more innovation - all absolutely necessary for cybersecurity
It must be said that for years now, we have known that diversity not only matters, representation not only is important, but it also pushes companies forward. Several studies have shown that diverse teams are more likely to have above-average profitability, and all types of diversity, be it gender, ethnicity, culture or others, will positively affect companies.
When it comes to cybersecurity, then, the need for diversity becomes even greater. It makes sense, once diverse teams tend to have a broader set of skills, view problems through different aspects and come up with several - instead of standardised - possible solutions.
Unlike what was perceived decades ago, diverse companies work well together, tend to learn and grow well and, as we can attest ourselves, are just more fun to work at. An environment (work or not) that simply accepts differences and learns from them is just more nurturing than a strict standard and, let's face it, dull one.
Different heroes against different villains
Let's be clear: the reason why cybersecurity is so relevant is that there are countless people out there trying to breach systems, steal data, and turn companies and individuals into victims. Therefore, an overwhelming part of our work as infosec people is anticipating attacks, new techniques and methods that other human beings are creating.
And these hackers, we know, are diverse. They come from different backgrounds, study in different areas, and acquire specific skills and thinking methods in order to do what they do. And so must we!
It may sound cheesy, but the truth is that if we see hackers as villains, then we need a diverse team of heroes to fight the threats. As cybercrime becomes ever more complex and creative, we need holistic teams with professionals from distinct cultural and personal backgrounds.
The advantage of the tech sector
Even though it seems that cybersecurity is a market that needs diversity even more than others, due to the multiple threats that it faces, the tech sector as a whole has a huge benefit from helping prioritise this goal of plural teams.
It is not uncommon for tech professionals to be self-taught or to follow a non-linear career path, eliminating traditional perspectives on fancy degrees and expensive education certificates. This opens the doors to so many people - and it is certainly one of the best advantages of the tech world. We live in an era of hybrid, remote and flexible career options, where the climb is not always linear and necessarily to the top.
Everyone is welcome; education is constant, collaborative, and primarily accessible. A Global Information Security Workforce Study showed that 87 percent of the cybersecurity workers globally did not start in the field. Additionally, 33 percent of executives and C-suite professionals in the sector began in non-technical careers. The same study showed that, despite most workers not having started in cybersecurity, 94 percent of hiring managers still indicate that existing experience in the field is an important consideration.
This only highlights the issue with cybersecurity recruitment - and reinforces the need for proper, diversity-focused recruitment programs. The opportunity and the benefits of diverse recruitment are endless. Companies need to create proper channels to find these talents, and diversity programs help rethink certain outdated practices.
At Vaultree, we believe diversity is the only way forward. One of our diversity initiatives is to proudly support WOMCY, a non-profit organisation made up of women with a focus on the development of cybersecurity.