Building Diversity in Cybersecurity

January 24, 2023 The Washington Center

Building Diversity in Cybersecurity

Employers are investing in people and diversity to help make what is currently a predominantly white, male-dominated field more accessible, equitable and successful. 

Cybersecurity industry experts acknowledge that there is a need to hire people from diverse and non-traditional backgrounds. According to the (ISC)² Innovation Through Inclusion: The Multicultural Cybersecurity Workforce report, only 26% of cybersecurity professionals are ethnic and racial minorities. The organization’s Women in Cybersecurity report also reveals that women occupy just 24% of cybersecurity positions.  

The industry has 4 million open jobs globally, and experts are concerned about potential national security crisis as cyber-attacks continue. It’s also an industry that needs people from diverse, non-traditional backgrounds, offering women, people of color, those with neurodiversity and alternative education journeys a chance at high-paying and rewarding jobs and careers. TWC’s Cybersecurity Accelerator Program is designed to open career pathways for all, particularly those from non-traditional backgrounds.

To increase the field’s diversity, many employers seek to recruit talent from all cultures, ethnicities, genders, races, physical and mental ability and socio-economic backgrounds. Hiring diverse talent in cybersecurity is not just a nice to have, it is critical to help break groupthink that can hinder response to the increasingly sophisticated cyber-attacks.   

Improving diversity in cybersecurity has many benefits, including:  

  • Enabling organizations to confront diverse cyberthreats 
  • Improving risk management 
  • Increasing an organization’s agility  
  • Providing new perspectives  
  • Reducing groupthink  

Launch Your Cybersecurity Career  

Ready to enter a career in cybersecurity? There are many avenues to start working in this rapidly growing field. Some aspiring cybersecurity professionals choose to enroll in a relevant bachelor’s or master’s degree program. You could also obtain a cybersecurity certification or use online resources to develop skills like structured query language.  

Cyber internships are another effective way to make a strong impression on potential employers. The Washington Center’s Cybersecurity Accelerator Program allows students from all backgrounds to participate in a remote “micro-internship.” The program welcomes students from technical and non-technical backgrounds, and you will earn a financial stipend after completing your internship. If you’re “cyber curious,” securing an internship can be a great way to explore career options and learn more about this highly rewarding industry.   


About the Author

The Washington Center

The Washington Center is the largest and most established student internship program in Washington, D.C. Since our founding, we've helped more than 60,000 individuals from across the U.S. and around the globe expand their academic pursuits into rewarding jobs and careers. We use our scale and expertise to deliver solutions that open career pathways for learners, solve recruitment challenges for employers, while helping create greater access, equity, advancement and representation.

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