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Inclusion and Diversity at CCI

Engineering student in computer room backed by cables

Increasing diversity in the cybersecurity field is a foundational part of CCI’s mission of workforce development.

As of November, 2022, CyberSeek reported that there were only enough cybersecurity workers in the U.S. to fill 65 percent of open positions. In Virginia, that number was 68 percent. 

The Bureau of Labor Statistics projects a job growth rate of 35 percent from 2021 to 2031, or about 19,500 new positions each year.

Boosting the members of underrepresented groups in the field will fill a need in both Virginia and the nation, while also providing these populations with job opportunities for high-paying positions. 

Diversifying the backgrounds, experiences, viewpoints, and cultures of the  workforce will also improve solutions produced in the field. 

A Need for Outreach

According to a report from the Aspen Digital Tech Policy hub,  9 percent of cybersecurity workers identify as Black, 4 percent as  Hispanic, and and 8 percent as Asian. Women are 51 percent of the population, but 24 percent of the cybersecurity workforce.

An Education Week story theorizes that students with disabilities might be directed away from STEM courses. This could be due to:

  • School-funding formulas based on standardized tests. Students can get lower scores on exams that don’t accommodate their abilities.
  • Students lack access to facilities such as STEM labs.

Taking Action

CCI’s Inclusion and Diversity Committee works to increase diversity through programs designed to increase participation of underrepresented groups.

We are an action-oriented group that meets monthly. As 2024 began, we supported the creation of a call for proposals to address inclusion and accessibility issues in cybersecurity.

We also advise the CCI Leadership Council about inclusion and diversity matters.

The committee seeks new members to help support CCI’s mission of increasing diversity and inclusion within Virginia’s cybersecurity community.

Current members include:

Guidelines and Resources

The committee has created webinars and other programming to help inform the cybersecurity community about how to incorporate inclusion and diversity into their research, programs, and workplace. Examples include:

Portrait of Wayne Scales
Wayne Scales
Creating Partnerships

A discussion by Wayne A. Scales, J. Byron Maupin Professor of Engineering at Virginia Tech, on the benefits of researchers partnering with Historically Black Colleges and Universities and Minority Serving Institutions.

Portrait of Gloria Ladson-Billings
Gloria Ladson-Billings

Tips on Outreach

A webinar featuring National Academy of Education President Gloria Ladson-Billings.

The event also featured a panel discussion on how-to tips to increase diversity.

Portrait of Jordan Mason
Jordan Mason

Going to Them

A webinar led by Jordan Mason, program manager of CCI’s Northern Virginia Node,  on increasing diversity in cybersecurity programs

Watch a video of the webinar.

HBCUs in the CCI Network include: