Security Strategy, Plan, Budget, Security Staff Acquisition & Development

Cybersecurity Collaborative reveals CISOs’ tips for a diverse and inclusive workforce

It’s no secret that IT security leaders have been struggling, for decades, to hire and retain a diverse workforce. To help them overcome this longstanding employment challenge, Cybersecurity Collaborative released a guiding document on the topic that includes insights on how to achieve diversity, equity, and inclusion on their teams.

The report, A Guide to Attract and Retain a Talented and Diverse Cybersecurity Team, is the second part of a two-part diversity and inclusion effort from Cybersecurity Collaborative. It is based on insight gleaned from its first initiative, a webcast, which examined how cybersecurity and HR leaders can hire and retain a diverse workforce.

“Not only is it socially responsible to create a diverse and inclusive cybersecurity team, employers that succeed in this effort will improve their ability to hire and retain top IT security talent; gain access to different perspectives on security, risk, and privacy; and improve productivity,” said David Myron, content director at Cybersecurity Collaborative and the report author.

The challenges to creating a diverse and inclusive cybersecurity team “are pervasive – existing within and beyond the walls of organizations,” the report states. To overcome them, cybersecurity leaders must work with their HR departments to rethink how they hire and retain employees and consider new approaches to the hiring process. One example, the report suggests, is to “consider removing the four-year degree as a requirement for some jobs in favor of life, job, or military experiences that could prove helpful to your team.”

All of the insights are presented in three areas: 1) strategic imperatives to establish vision and direction, 2) new hiring practices to change hiring outcomes, and 3) tips to creating a culture of inclusion to increase equality, justice, and employee retention.

Many of the insights featured in the report come from the panel of CISOs in the webcast: Meredith Harper, vice president, chief information security officer, Eli Lilly and Company; Sydney Klein, chief information security officer, Bristol Myers Squibb; and Christopher Zell, vice president, head of information security, The Wendy’s Company. The report also includes contributions from Devon Bryan, managing director and CISO of MUFG Union Bank, N.A. All of the senior cybersecurity professionals are members of Cybersecurity Collaborative.

Cybersecurity Collaborative is a membership community for cybersecurity, privacy, and risk leaders to share best practices that maximize their defense readiness. To find out more, visit

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