Produced following our Ethnic Minorities in Cyber event in February and wider consultation with our members, the UK Cyber Security Council’s Diversity Process Flow paper aims to help raise awareness of the key obstacles to achieving greater diversity across the sector and highlight actions that can be taken to address them.
The paper details how widespread use of jargon and unclear and inconsistent professional titles acted as a significant barrier to encouraging more people, including those from ethnic minority backgrounds, into the sector. This is particularly the case for communities where English is an additional language.
The issue is also compounded by complex and unstandardised qualifications, creating a confusing landscape for those unfamiliar with the sector.
Arguably, this problem is also playing into the UK cyber skills gap, with data from the Cyber Security Job Site revealing that four out of ten firms in the cyber sector do not have staff with relevant cyber security qualifications.
To help address these challenges, the Council is introducing a single professional standard for the industry, with three professional titles, Associate, Principal and Chartered, aligned to 16 named specialisms withing the sector as detailed in our Cyber Framework.
By introducing a universally recognised standard and professional titles, the Council is creating a clearer framework for how people can enter and progress in a cyber career. By aligning these with 16 key specialisms, the Council is bringing greater clarity to the roles available, demystifying the opportunities for currently underrepresented groups.
The Diversity Process Flow paper also discusses the lack of diverse role models as a challenge in the sector’s ambition to attract more talent from ethnic minority groups. To remedy this, we highlight the important role blind recruitment and inclusive recruitment panels can play in making recruitment processes more accessible for people of colour.
The paper also explains that fostering a culture of diversity needs to be developed from within a company itself, and points to the importance of empowering employees to progress into senior leadership positions.
For more insight on key inhibitors to diversity in cyber and actions that can be taken to address them, the full Diversity Process Flow paper is available to read here.