One of the biggest challenges facing the security industry is a growing shortage of skilled professionals, which is expected to reach 1.5 million open and unfilled positions by 2020. One huge factor that could help us address the shortfall lies in the glaring lack of diversity within the cybersecurity workforce, specifically a lack of women, African-Americans and Hispanics.
Diversity Gap By the Numbers
Diversity is crucial to bringing more talent into the industry and fostering the innovation we need to change the tide in the fight against cybercrime. While women represent approximately half of college graduates, they only represent 10 percent of the cybersecurity workforce, according to an ISC2 study. Additionally, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reported that African-Americans, Asians and Hispanics account for less than 12 percent of information security analysts in the U.S.
So how can we overcome this historical lack of diversity and drive more awareness of cybersecurity careers among the general population? That’s exactly what we’re setting out to discover this October.
Closing the Gap
IBM is joining forces with the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) for a town hall discussion on diversity in cybersecurity on Oct. 4, 2016, in New York City. Through a series of expert panel and audience-driven discussions, thought leaders from the industry and academia will deliberate on innovative approaches to further the inclusion of women and underrepresented minorities in cybersecurity.
“Complex security challenges now require teams that include people with diverse cultures, experiences, ideas and approaches that will drive greater creativity, deliberation and insights,” said Juliet Okafor, J.D., strategic advisory board member and chair of the Strategic Initiatives Committee for ICMCP. “The increasing cybersecurity skills shortage creates a clear mandate and opportunity for savvy business leaders and innovative cybersecurity firms to work to bridge the growing talent and diversity gap in this industry.”
Join the IBM-ICMCP Summit
It will take a combined effort of leaders across all facets of the industry to bring about change and overcome the diversity gap in cybersecurity. We invite you to join us at this free event to learn more and help brainstorm creative solutions to this growing challenge.
Don’t miss the opportunity to register now, as space is limited.
Register to attend the summit