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Looking to reinforce your company’s cybersecurity strategy? A good place to start is to cultivate a diverse workforce.
Our people are our best and most effective defense against cybercrime. A diverse cybersecurity workforce brings a wide array of thought and perspectives that empowers any organization to identify and root out potential threats before they turn into enterprise-wide events.
Attracting, developing and retaining diverse talent while fostering a culture of belonging and equity for all colleagues is a critical priority that will shape the cybersecurity workforce of the future. A lack of diverse perspectives can result in developing cognitive biases, such as groupthink, leading to conformity within a group rather than identifying the most secure solution. A team that embraces diversity of thought decreases the probability that complex or hidden security vulnerabilities will be identified and addressed so that they may not be exploited by attackers. Consequently, perspectives can decrease blind spots in threat assessments.
New Opportunities to Draw Diverse Talent
Studies show there is an ongoing shortage of qualified cybersecurity talent and there is also a lack of gender and ethnic representation. As we collectively work to fill the gap, it’s important to seek out diverse talent. Reversing this trend will take companies that embrace inclusive recruiting and hiring practices to attract diverse talent to consider roles such as Security Operations Center (SOC) Analyst and Chief Information Security Officer (CISO).
The rise in remote work due to the COVID-19 pandemic creates new opportunities to hire diverse talent by removing geographical constraints. Companies can create new roles or adapt existing roles to be more flexible and to attract a larger pool of diverse applicants around the globe.
Here are two ways companies can increase diverse hiring:
- Partner with educational institutions that have higher diverse student populations, such as Historically Black Colleges and Universities (HBCUs) or Hispanic-Serving Institutions (HSIs), to raise awareness about your cybersecurity programs.
- Partner with diverse professional associations to increase your talent-sourcing opportunities.
Cultivating an Inclusive Workplace
At AIG, we strive to cultivate an inclusive workplace, which we believe is essential to being a top-performing company and leading insurance franchise. Our more than 130 Employee Resource Groups reflect 13 dimensions of diversity, focused in particular on creating awareness about allyship and addressing bias, among other efforts.
We carry out external talent mapping to identify diverse talent for all critical positions and produce talent profiles on all insurance industry senior diverse talent. We support diverse sourcing and slating to encourage diverse hiring. In 2020, 36% of all new executive leadership positions were filled with diverse talent, 51% of AIG job placements globally were female and 42% of U.S. placements were ethnically diverse. We offer leadership development programs for our diverse talent and partner with professional organizations that focus on diverse talent to identify top diverse talent for emerging roles.
As cyber criminals continue to pose an increasing threat, prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion in a company’s cybersecurity talent strategy while fostering a culture of belonging are critical steps to securing a workforce that will help guard against future attacks.
To learn more about how AIG builds diversity, equity, and inclusion in the workplace, visit AIG.com. For more cybersecurity education and awareness resources, visit the National Cybersecurity Alliance.