(ISC)² study: U.S. minority cybersecurity professionals hold fewer senior roles

Canadian Security
Tuesday March 20, 2018
Written by Canadian Security
(ISC)2 recently published the report “Innovation through inclusion: the multicultural cybersecurity workforce,” commissioned by (ISC)2, the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professionals (ICMCP) and the (ISC)2 Center for Cyber Safety and Education.

The goal of the study was to measure minority representation in the U.S. cybersecurity profession and to better understand the challenges these individuals experience.

“While minority representation within the cybersecurity field (26 per cent) is slightly higher than the overall U.S. minority workforce (21 per cent), our study did reveal that racial and ethnic minorities tend to hold non-managerial positions, and pay discrepancies, especially for minority women, is a challenge,” said (ISC)2 CEO David Shearer, CISSP. “In order to build strong, adequately staffed cybersecurity teams, employers — and the cybersecurity profession as a whole — must make cybersecurity a rewarding and welcoming career for everyone.”

The findings are based on survey responses from 9,500 U.S. cybersecurity professionals. Key insights from the study include:

• 23 per cent of minority cybersecurity professionals hold a role of director or above compared to 30 per cent of their Caucasian peers
• 62 per cent of minorities in cybersecurity have obtained a master’s degree or higher, compared to 50 per cent of professionals who identified as White or Caucasian
• On average, a cybersecurity professional of colour earns $115,000, while the overall U.S. cybersecurity workforce average is $122,000. Men of colour are slightly behind their Caucasian male peers by $3,000 USD, while women of colour make an average of $10,000 less than Caucasian males and $6,000 less than Caucasian females
• Caucasian workers were more likely to have received a salary increase within the past year, compared to other races and ethnicities
• 32 per cent of cybersecurity professionals of colour report they have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace
• In the U.S., 17 per cent of the cybersecurity workforce who identify as a minority are female, proportionally exceeding overall female representation (14 per cent) by a margin of 3 per cent
• To foster diversity in the workplace, 49 per cent of minority cybersecurity professionals said mentorship programs are very important

The full report can be read here.

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