A new report has found that minority cybersecurity professionals are underrepresented in senior roles.
The study, from (ISC)² and The Center for Cyber Safety and Education, found that while minority representation within the cybersecurity field is slightly higher than the overall minority workforce fewer minority professionals hold leadership roles despite a high level of education.
Just 23 percent hold a position of director or above within the sector, 7 percent lower than the U.S. national average. Minorities in leadership positions also often hold higher degrees than their Caucasian counterparts: 62 percent have obtained a master’s degree or higher, compared to just 50 percent of professionals who identified as white or Caucasian.
The report also found that, overall, 32 percent of cybersecurity professionals who identified as minorities have experienced some form of discrimination in the workplace. It found that across all races and ethnicities women experienced the most discrimination, with women who identify as Black, Hispanic, Asian or Native American experiencing the highest levels.
Optimism is still strong among minorities, with 75 percent of minority cybersecurity professionals reporting job satisfaction. “Implementing and encouraging participation in programs designed to address the unique challenges faced by these diverse groups not only has the potential to advance, embolden and elevate individuals, but support and stimulate progress and growth within the cybersecurity workforce,” the report concludes.