Women make up just 24% of the cybersecurity workforce, according to new research into the demographics of the technology industry by the Aspen Institute.
The study identified also low representation of minority groups within the sector. Hispanic, African American, Asian and American Indian/Native Alaskan workers made up 4%, 9%, 8% and 1% respectively.
The publication of Aspen’s research comes amid a push from senior technology leaders at federal agencies to expand the government’s technology talent base and to create a more diverse pipeline of new recruits.
Late last month, General Services Administration leader Robin Carnahan in a speech called on women working in tech to consider a career in public service, and described the current gender balance of technologists working in government as “not good enough.”
Women currently make up less than one-quarter of all technologists working in the federal government.
As part of this, agencies are required to work with education institutions that specialize in cybersecurity to advance opportunities for groups that previously have faced employment discrimination, including people of color, women, and individuals with disabilities.
The legislation mandates that all agencies assess the current state of diversity, equity, inclusion and accessibility within their workforces and that they develop plans to eliminate any barriers to success faced by underserved employees. It directs agencies to seek opportunities to establish or elevate chief diversity officers within their organizations.