I have noticed that a lot of diversity talk in Australia centres around women. More women needed on Boards. More women needed in senior management. Not enough women in cyber security. Not enough school girls taking up cyber related subjects. All in the name of diversity. But diversity is so much more than gender when it comes to cyber security (or any industry). In a series of blogs, I’m keen to look at how we can bridge the diversity gap with more than a focus on women. To begin with, here are 3 companies* taking diversity to the next level in building a security team.
1. Michael Fieldhouse @ DXC. I met Michael a couple of years ago and I was blown away by the progress he was making in reducing the stigma around autism and introducing these strong, analytical thinkers into our workforce. Michael’s Dandelion program employs around 80 people in Adelaide, Canberra and Brisbane, many of them working in Federal Government departments, including Defence, Human Services and Immigration and Border Protection.
2. WYWM (With You, With Me). – This organisation supports our ex-service men and women to use their incredibly valuable skills learned in the armed forces to support the cyber security industry. Opportunities are given to upskill and transfer their learnings into civilian life and they have helped more than 700+ veterans find new careers since 2016.
3. Hivint – the founders of this successful cyber security consultancy, Nick and Craig, pride themselves on providing great opportunities to work in the cyber security industry. Two particular initiatives they have pioneered as a cyber start-up: offering roles that suit return-to-work parents and hiring cyber-skilled high school students who are later employed as permanent staff.
I have met many cyber security professionals who have not come from a “traditional” background (if any background can be called traditional in cyber). I have met (male and female) ex-chefs, ex-police officers, ex-internal communications executives, ex-marketing professionals, ex-stay-at-home parents, ex-researchers and even ex-navy divers. Diversity of background provides diversity of thinking and brings transferrable skills in spades. As always, hiring for diversity still depends heavily on the candidate having the appropriate skills, background and personality fit to fill the job requirements you have.
We can fill the diversity gap if we just look in the right places for the right reasons. The above organisations are great Australian living proof that diversity doesn’t only come in the shape of a woman. While i am a huge supporter of more women in cyber (and in the workforce in general), diversity is more than gender. What other organisations do you know of that are breaking the diversity mould when hiring?
(*this is not a sponsored post)
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