Black Women in Cyber Initiative Advances Cybersecurity Careers and Training


A new initiative is underway in the US to increase the number of black women and women of color working in the cybersecurity industry.

With the recent passage of the US Senate Cybersecurity Opportunity Act, Opportunity Hub, (OHUB) launched a new initiative to promote gender and racial equity in technology, according to a prepared statement from OHUB. In partnership with GET Cities and The Links Inc., the Black Women in Cyber ​​Initiative will advance the number and share of Black women and women of color in the cybersecurity industry.

OHUB says the initiative will provide early detection, expert-led training, employer-recognized certifications and resources to prepare women for rewarding careers in cybersecurity. Undoubtedly, SMEs and MSSPs will benefit from a much-needed infusion of talent.

Meanwhile, women still only make up a quarter of the cybersecurity workforce, compared to 39% participation in the general workforce. At the same time, the global cybersecurity workforce would need to grow by 80% to meet current demand, according to a joint study by Boston Consulting Group (BCG) and The Global Cybersecurity Forum (GCF). The report is titled “Empowering Women to Work in Cyber ​​Security is a Win-Win”.

Rodney Sampson, Executive President and CEO of OHUB, described the inspiration behind the Black Women in Cyber ​​Initiative:

“Politics is precedent as a path to black prosperity in the Fourth Industrial Revolution and beyond. To that end, OHUB remains committed to creating and programming policy on behalf of black people and all of our allies everywhere. It was a pleasure working with Congressman Hank Johnson to codify the Cybersecurity Capabilities Act; and we are equally excited about our collaboration with Second Muse Foundation, GET Cities, The Links, Incorporated and our team of experts, facilitators, training institutions and employees. Together, we can expose, educate and position thousands, even millions in the black community for opportunities in cybersecurity and beyond.”

Legislation encourages cybersecurity training

In July 2022, U.S. Senator Jon Ossoff (D-Georgia) and U.S. Representative Hank Johnson (D-Georgia) successfully introduced bipartisan legislation to encourage cybersecurity job training programs at historically black colleges and universities (HBCUs), states OHUB. The legislation also established the Ph. This may interest you : 7 Benefits of Using AI for Cybersecurity.D. Cybersecurity Education Grant Program. David Satcher to expand cybersecurity training programs at HBCUs, tribal institutions, minority-serving institutions, and other colleges and universities serving large numbers of Pell Grant recipients across the country.

Rep. Johnson, chairman of the Judiciary Subcommittee on Courts, Intellectual Property and the Internet, and lead sponsor of the House Cybersecurity Capability Act, discussed the need to diversify the cybersecurity talent pool:

“As threats to our national security escalate affecting our power grid, water systems and critical transportation infrastructure, the need to expand our cybersecurity capabilities must also keep pace. It is critical that as we grow our cybersecurity sector, we diversify our talent pool and expertise in this industry – and where better to leverage existing capacity than our historically black colleges and universities and organizations like Opportunity Hub?”

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Empowering women of color

To support the skills development of the next generation workforce, IBM is offering a free Network Security Expert Fortinet Training Institute program for people who sign up for the Skillsbuild platform, OHUB said. To see also : TCC, Tulsa Innovation Labs launch program to teach cyber security – FOX23 News. With this additional support, women participating in this initiative can confidently enter the cybersecurity field, meet industry demands and continuously build skills for career advancement.

Ayanna Smith, executive director of GET Cities (Washington, DC), looks forward to the impact of the initiative:

“Our research points to the need for early exposure to cybersecurity career options for women and girls as a way to counter barriers that disproportionately eliminate diverse talent from entering the industry. Helping women understand the factors that affect their ability to pass background checks and obtain security clearances can have a huge impact on the number of women of color who become qualified to fill the thousands of cybersecurity jobs that remain vacant each year.”

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Detailed partnership objectives

Under this new partnership, GET Cities will make a strategic investment to leverage Opportunity Hub’s national profile and top-rated training programs. To see also : Threat of Russian cyberattack prompts energy firms to collaborate with U.S. government. This effort will expose up to 350 women of color to employer-recognized definitive cybersecurity certificate programs.

The goals of this new partnership include:

Promoting cybersecurity as an entrepreneurial, investment and career path through webinars, Ask Me Anything, with industry professionals, and events and experiences with The Links to effectively reach more black women Engaging up to 500 women of color with free access to OHUB’s curated tracks learning at IBM Skillsbuild Increasing the number of black women enrolled in OHUB’s national network of top-rated cybersecurity bootcamps

Participant benefits include:

Specialized master classes with cybersecurity experts. OHUB membership and free access to the NSE 1-7 certification program. Help from consultants and industry experts enroll in top-rated immersive training programs, such as Pivot Technology School, which offers data analytics, software development and cybersecurity training. Cybersecurity employment assistance and career training

Kieran Blanks, Opportunity Hub’s Director of Growth, explained the far-reaching impact of the initiative:

“With this initiative, black women will finally have the opportunity to enter this rapidly expanding field and transform their careers and investment prospects to contribute and unlock the great potential for innovation, leadership, creativity and investment in cybersecurity.” More importantly, this program is extremely important because it has far-reaching effects in all areas of a black woman’s life. Program participants will begin a journey of transformation to prepare themselves and others in their families and communities for the economic opportunities of the Fourth Industrial Revolution.”

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