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An official analysis of diversity in cyber security, which was carried out by the National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) alongside KPMG, has revealed that there are concerns about inclusivity within the UK market. In turn, several chiefs in the cyber security industry have pledged to improve attitudes towards diversity within the workforce.
Whilst the analysis published by the NCSC had some positives aspects, such as revealing that minority representation was above national average in certain industry areas, overall it presented a mixed picture. Indeed, many of its key findings emphasise an issue of systematic discrimination as well as inclusivity problems across ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and social mobility.
The study, based on the responses of over 1,200 cyber security professionals, found that 74% of problems involving diversity and inclusion were never reported. Moreover, 14% said they’d experienced barriers to progression in their careers and/or left their job because of their employer’s attitude to such issues.
Despite revealing that ethnic diversity in the cyber security industry was broadly similar to that of the UK population, and LGB representation was more than four times higher than national figures, other problems persisted. For instance, the responses revealed that only 41% of Black, African, Caribbean or Black British felt confident within the workplace in their identity, whereas 75% of White respondents said the same. The cyber security industry is also overly male-dominated according, with female representation being recorded at just 31%.
The recommendations in the report push for greater accountability for diversity and inclusivity from industry leaders, and recommends that practices for dealing with problems concerning these issues be improved. The Chief Executive of the NCSC, Ciaran Martin, also put pressure on security business leaders, saying that he urges “all cyber security leaders to read the report and act on it.”
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