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Call for Proposals for Facilitated Focus Groups on Diversifying the Cybersecurity Workforce

  • 31 Dec 2021
  • 12:00 AM - 11:59 PM
  • Online


  • Submitted a proposal for a Facilitated Online Conversation - U.S.

Registration is closed

Special Issue on Diversifying the Cybersecurity Workforce

--Call for Facilitated Virtual Focus Groups--

Seeking dialogues about challenges and opportunities

Although several recent publications discuss the current state of diversity in the cybersecurity workforce, little is known about the factors that influence the interest, engagement, development, recruitment, retention, and advancement of broadening participation in cybersecurity functions and roles that could expand and enhance the cybersecurity talent pool. To encourage community discussions on these critical issues, and as part of the current Call for Abstracts on Diversifying the Cybersecurity Workforce, the Cybersecurity Skills Journal (CSJ) invites practitioners, scholars, and educators to propose virtual focus groups on specific challenges and persistent problems related to issues of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DEI) in the cybersecurity workforce. Discussion from these focus groups will result in a Dialogue, a new type of manuscript that captures a discussion among stakeholders about emerging issues, dilemmas or previously insurmountable challenges to cybersecurity skill assessment, development, recruitment, or evaluation.

Focus groups will be held on Friday, January 21, 2022 and will run between 90 and 120 minutes, with sessions starting at 10:30 AM and 3:00 PM (Eastern). CSJ will facilitate the focus groups and the creation of Dialogues for submission by providing a virtual platform for the focus group discussion and recording the session. Individual focus group organizers will receive both an audio recording and an automatic transcription of their recording. Organizers must review and edit the transcript as necessary, provide biographical sketches for all participants, and provide an introduction and summary remarks before submitting the Dialogue to the CSJ SI Call for Abstracts by January 31, 2022.

A focus group may discuss issues related to potential DEI dimensions such as those listed in the Call for Abstracts. Alternatively, a focus group may share experiences or outcomes from current DEI efforts, or brainstorm on potential DEI interventions suggested in the Call for Abstracts. Proposers also may choose to gather stakeholders to discuss a challenge or recommendation from a publication cited above.

Preference will be given to sessions that include one or more invited participants that are stakeholders (e.g., specific underrepresented populations, hiring managers, CISOs, human resources, learners, educators, government, academia, industry, K12, higher ed, etc.) impacted by the topic of the focus group, or that otherwise make direct connections between a DEI issue or intervention, and improving the capabilities of the cybersecurity workforce.


Aspen Digital, “Diversity, Equity and Inclusion in Cybersecurity.” The Aspen Institute, Washington, DC. August 2021. https://www.aspeninstitute.org/publications/dei-in-cybersecurity/

Google, “2021 Diversity Annual Report”. https://diversity.google/annual-report/

(ISC)². Cybersecurity Workforce Study: Women in Cybersecurity. https://www.isc2.org/Research/Women-in-Cybersecurity

National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. (2021). Looking Ahead at the Cybersecurity Workforce at the Federal Aviation Administration. https://www.nap.edu/read/26105/chapter/1

Reed, J., & Acosta-Rubio, J. (2018). Innovation Through Inclusion: The Multicultural Cybersecurity Workforce. https://www.isc2.org/Research/Cybersecurity-Diversity#

(c)  National CyberWatch Center
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