Applying Design Thinking Methods: A Business Perspective to Increase Women in the Cyber Security Workforce

Applying Design Thinking Methods: A Business Perspective to Increase Women in the Cyber Security Workforce

There’s no question that women are an underutilized resource in the cyber security workforce. A recent study conducted by (ISC) ² reported that women represent only about 10 % of global cyber security workers, a number that has not budged for the past two years ago. There is no clear career path for women into the field. The design thinking problem solving model, provides an unparallel opportunity to study this problem from many perspectives. The results would assist with applying learning skills necessary for women to advance in cyber security leadership roles.

Proactive hiring scenarios can then be applied to the workplace and demonstrate to business organizations the growth possibilities women’s skills present.  By building the pipeline of women cyber leaders as early as graduation from college, many industries would benefit. Since women are less likely than men to take on unfamiliar new projects or tasks, the development of women cyber security leaders is necessary. Women cyber- security interns want to learn in a safe environment. The system would offer an array of examples that are real life scenarios, to ignite the flow of innovative ideas and solutions to everyday problems that many cyber security organizations face.  Additionally, L&D (training) and HR (coaching) groups can incorporate DT problem solving methods as part of their program offering for new hires entering the field of cyber security. 

Cyber security recruiting efforts should not be limited to women with military experience or engineering and computer science degrees. Hiring individuals from diverse backgrounds and demographics will introduce new ways of thinking and solving problems. Such policies can ultimately pay off in stronger cyber security hiring programs.

Cyber security is a very ‘hot’ field and will be for quite some time. We need to build the pipeline of future leaders and the design thinking system will help to instill innovative solutions to the most common and complex business problems. 

As demand for cyber security workers continues to mount, businesses that reach out to women will benefit from untapped potential and potentially improve their cyber security programs.



*ISC2 Foundation, Women in Security: Wisely Positioned for the Future of InfoSec. 2015, Retrieved from:

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Rose Little-John

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