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22 Sep 2023

CAPSLOCK Launches Campaign to Boost Diversity in Cyber

International Cyber Expo exhibitor and award-winning, female-led, educational organisation that re-skills adults into cyber security professionals, CAPSLOCK has launched a new campaign to encourage a truly diverse range of people of all genders, ages, ethnicities, and walks of life to get into cyber.  

The campaign runs from July – September 2023, and will encourage people to consider a career in cyber security and ultimately, improve diversity, equity and inclusion in the industry. 

The campaign’s lead message “Cyber might surprise you” aims to make people who haven’t considered a career in cyber, or those who don’t know they have the transferrable skills to work in cyber, realise they can re-skill and benefit from an average salary increase of 54%. (CAPSLOCK data 2023). 

As part of the campaign, CAPSLOCK is offering a number of partial scholarships and fully-funded places to applicants who might not otherwise have the means to reskill. By removing some of the financial barriers which can prevent people from accessing education in later life, CAPSLOCK is encouraging a wider range of people to switch careers to cyber. 

“Access to education for all is extremely important for a number of reasons. It helps us to build a more sustainable and equitable future for everyone. It unlocks potential that may otherwise remain locked. When people are given opportunities they often go and achieve amazing things,” said Lorna Armitage, Co-Founder of CAPSLOCK.

A key part of the campaign is the launch of ‘Cyber’s Brighter Future’ pledge: a pledge for individuals and businesses to actively contribute to greater diversity in the industry and combat stereotypes about cyber. 

It’s up to the individual/organisation how they’d like to get involved, but this might include:

  • Mentoring someone who's new to the cyber industry

  • Combatting stereotypes about cyber whenever possible

  • Always using inclusive language and imagery

  • Giving underrepresented people a platform at shows, in articles, on podcasts...​

 

Those who join the pledge are encouraged to share their pledges across social media with specially designed badges (see below), using the hashtags #CybersBrighterFuture and #CyberMightSurpriseYou.

 

Badge for Organisations

 

Badge for Individuals

 

“A more diverse environment is good for so many reasons, not least because it better represents society. It helps for building cyber solutions that are more effective and that are ultimately more resilient against any attack. It also results in an environment that is balanced in approach, and promotes a culture that welcomes diversity,” shared Dr. Andrea Cullen, Co-Founder of CAPSLOCK.

On the subject of addressing bias within tech/cyber recruitment, our very own Advisory Council member, Lisa Ventura, adds:

“All organisations should look at developing a culture of inclusivity in their hiring and recruitment practices, and studies show that having a more diverse workforce is beneficial for tech companies so they can leverage a broader range of skills and talents to help them grow.”

“Some of the things that organisations can do to help them foster inclusivity in their recruitment practices include establishing a commitment to diversity early on and communicating that throughout their workforce, regularly evaluating job descriptions to ensure they are free from biased language and unnecessary requirements that may deter under-represented candidates from applying. For example, many tech jobs can be done fully remotely or part-remotely rather than from an office full-time but stating that the role is full-time office-based may potentially put off working parents from applying. 

“Organisations should also look at eliminating bias in the screening and selection process, and remove personally identifiable information such as names, gender, or age from CVs. Including diverse perspectives in the interview process will also help mitigate bias and allows candidates to interact with a broader range of individuals within the organisation. Unconscious bias training is also a must as this can be a great way of raising awareness about unconscious biases and how they can influence decision-making when it comes to recruitment.”

Make sure to register for International Cyber Expo 2023 today, for the opportunity to collaborate and promote greater diversity in the industry: https://ice-2023.reg.buzz/eskenzi 

While you’re there, don’t forget to stop by CAPSLOCK’s stand at P62.

For more information about the campaign, visit: https://capslock.ac/cyber-might-surprise-you
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