Cyber experts launch survey to improve diversity in the sector

The National Cyber Security Centre (NCSC) and KPMG UK have launched a second survey to explore new benchmarks on disability and neurodiversity to improve understanding of diversity characteristics within the workforce.

The 2021 study has been expanded to capture new info on disability, neurodiversity, location of workplace, employer size, and seniority.

The new research will build on the results of last year’s report, which revealed that the sector does not benefit from the breadth of talent of the UK’s diverse communities, particularly across gender, sexual orientation, social mobility, and ethnicity.

“The cyber security industry plays a vital role in keeping us safe, but we know it doesn’t reflect the communities it serves,” said Lindy Cameron, chief executive of the NCSC. “Our second Decrypting Diversity survey will help us build on the collective understanding of where the sector is falling short, allowing us to break down barriers to ensure that there are opportunities for all.”

Cameron added: “We know that a welcoming community and greater diversity leads to more innovation and better outcomes for the UK, and the NCSC is committed to helping transform the cyber security sector into an exemplar of best practice.”

Recommendations from the previous study urged cyber security leaders to become accountable for diversity and inclusion within their organisations and for the industry to improve how it learns from best practice both within and outside the sector.

The NCSC accepted all of the recommendations from that report and is taking a range of actions as a result, including the introduction of an Outreach Officer role which is designed to encourage people from under-represented communities to begin a career in the cyber security profession.

“Diversity and inclusivity must sit at the heart of our cyber security industry if it is to continue to thrive, facilitating the representation of different experiences and worldviews and attracting the brightest talent from across society,” said Jonathon Gill, head of aerospace and defence at KPMG UK. “This survey represents a continuation of our journey with the NCSC to uncover the opportunities to drive positive change and further our roadmap to creating a more inclusive sector.”

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