Cybersecurity is one of the most severe economic and national security challenges we face worldwide. Sadly, however, there is a global underrepresentation of women and other major minority groups in the fast-growing discipline of cybersecurity especially in the United States of America. Global workforce studies have consistently reported that over 80% of all jobs in the next decade will require Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) skills.
According the 2015 National Science Foundation Study, despite an overall USA workforce representation of approximately 48%, women fill less than 29% of STEM jobs. With specific regard to the field of cybersecurity, Global Information Security Workforce Sub-reports issued by various industry groups (to include the International Information Systems Security Certification Consortium (ISC2)) cite the female cyber workforce representation as approximately 10%.
African Americans and Hispanics are consistently underrepresented in STEM careers with only some 6% percent of STEM workers being African American compared to an overall 11% of the US workforce. Similarly, Hispanics comprised only 7% of the STEM workforce while making up 15% of the US workforce This under-participation by large segments of our society represents a loss of opportunity for individuals, a loss of talent in the workforce, and a loss of creativity in shaping the future of cybersecurity. Not only is it a basic equity issue, but it threatens our global economic viability as a nation.
Toward leading tangible and meaningful societal change, the International Consortium of Minority Cybersecurity Professional (ICMCP) was created in 2014 achieving formal 501(c)(3) Public Charity Non Profit from the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) in July 2014 and with the expressed purpose of “Bridging The Great Minority Cybersecurity Divide.” The ICMCP will be tackling this “Divide” by creating academic scholarship opportunities to attract more females and students of color into the career field. For existing minority cybersecurity practitioners, ICMCP will deploy strategic mentoring programs geared toward fostering the career growth of junior and mid-level practitioners into becoming the next generation of executive decision-makers. ICMCP Programs are focused on helping to create a talented and innovative pool of citizens specializing in securing global cyber infrastructures. The ICMCP Veterans Outreach Programs are intended to retool those US-Servicemen who have sacrificed so much in the defense of our country from being “Warriors” into “Cyber Warriors.” Technical training programs targeting minority cybersecurity professionals worldwide will promote academic and deeply technical excellence in our tradecraft.
We wish you nothing but the best in all of your charitable endeavors this holiday season. Happy Holidays from ICMCP!