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Creating a Truly Diverse Security Team

Chris Cooper

Chris Cooper

Chief Information Security Officer at Capgemini

Chris Cooper, Chief Information Security Officer at Capgemini

Chris Cooper, CISO, Capgemini 

Creating a truly diverse team should be the top priority for all departments. But for security specifically, here’s why… 

Across all cyber roles only 17% are from ethnic minority backgrounds. With only 3% in senior roles (classed as 6+ years of experience). Just 16% are women, of those 3% are in senior. Shockingly, a mere 10% are neurodivergent, such as dyslexia or autism spectrum disorder.  

Chris Cooper, Chief Information Security Officer at Capgemini, gave us his thoughts on how important it is for CISOs to prioritise implementing a diverse workforce and the benefits this will bring for the business.  

Creating a Truly Diverse Security Team Diversity is Key 

Everyone has a moral obligation to support, enhance and enable diversity and inclusion into our lives. Simply, it is up to business leaders to enforce it with diversity being the key to successful cyber security team. It expands the talent pool, helps engagement with a variety of business or customer constituencies, and broadens the teams’ perspective. Diversity can be sought in gender, ethnology, and age but also in social styles, industry experiences, and national, cultural, or academic.  

Further benefits include increased creativity, more innovations, higher engagement, problem solving and higher attraction and retention of talent. “For a cyber security team to work, they need to represent the wider organisation and the people within it.”  

The Importance of Inclusion 

An example Chris provided was when he implemented a cyber awareness programme for an organisation that operated in over 100 countries, across all regions. They quickly realised their European centric training failed when it came to other regions such as APAC or north and South America. The message they were trying to get across did not resonate with the target audience as they needed to put the cyber security message in different streams. He concluded that if they had had the diversity in the team that was designing the programme, they could have designed a more effective strategy.  

The take home message? As a CISO it is your responsibility to create this diverse and inclusive cyber team. If you can execute this effectively, it will benefit you, your employees, and your whole organisation. A CISO has a responsibility to nurture the team by making them feel enable, engaged and inclusive. 

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