Cybersecurity sector sees increase in workplace discrimination

Within the cybersecurity industry, 22% of employees have experienced discrimination in the last year, up from 16% in 2018.

This comes from the NCSC and KPMG UK Decrypting Diversity Report, which also noted that 12% of respondents have considered changing employer due barriers to career progression.

The joint report revealed a mixed picture of the state of diversity and inclusion in the industry, with good representation for neurodiverse and disabled employees.

Female representation in the industry is 36%, up from 31% in 2020 and LGBTQ representation remains at 10%, which is favourable compared to the 2.2% of the UK population that declared themselves as such in 2018.

The ethnic diversity of the workforce is broadly similar to that of the UK population.

Lindy Cameron, NCSC CEO, said: “The UK is rich with diverse communities and, as the Decrypting Diversity report makes clear, and we need to ensure the cyber security profession reflects that diversity.

“As cyber security leaders it is our job to drive positive change, and I urge decision makers across the industry to take immediate action to improve opportunities and experiences for all.”

The NCSC has made five commitments which aim to increase levels of diversity and inclusion within the organisation:

  1. The NCSC's efforts to create a thriving cyber education ecosystem will focus on engagement with establishments with high proportions of students from under-represented communities.
  2. The CyberFirst bursary programme will aspire to achieve year-on-year increases in the proportion of females offered a place, until it reflects the demographics of the UK.
  3. Changes will be made to external recruitment practices to ensure the NCSC attracts diverse talent to accurately represent the communities it serves.
  4. Measures will be implemented to achieve elimination of the gender pay gap and ethnic minority pay gap within the organisation.
  5. Information and support will be provided to members of our workforce so that they are sensitive to and take action to promote a fully inclusive environment.
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