#ISC2Congress: Soft Skills Take Front Seat

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Recognizing the crisis of the skills gap and the impact that it has on the cybersecurity industry, (ISC)2 hosted a networking event at this year’s Security Congress

In welcoming attendees, CFO Debra Taylor said, “We recognize the important role we play and the obligation we have as an organization to be inclusive, respectful and free from bias or discrimination but also to develop a community that reflects the diverse public we serve.”

The event's focus was both inclusion and diversity, and attendees were asked to brainstorm the ways that organizations can create a more inclusive and diverse workforce. Deidre Diamond, co-founder and CEO of CyberSN, said that when she thinks about inclusion, she thinks about the GQ skills – the emotional intelligence. 

“It’s been really cool to watch our industry put value to emotional intelligences,” Diamond said. “The reality is that studies have proven that diverse groups make better decisions because they can see a 365-degree view. Diverse groups bring more money to organizations.”

Diamond talked about the benefits of win-win communication, a skill long taught in sales but that has been absent across other silos. One attendee, who noted that he benefits from being a fourth-generation college-educated white male, said, “That’s really what we have to break away from.”

Another attendee talked about a session on STEAM (science, technology, engineering, ARTS, and math) that she had attended and the benefits of bring the arts into the cybersecurity field. “At the end of the day, if they’re an arts major, music major, why aren’t we bargaining and pitching to them? It’s about widening the pool,” said Kyle Kennedy, president of Brainbabe.

A common concern among the attendees was the ways in which the résumé limits a candidate's potential of actually getting hired because we are all judged by the content we share. “If the content doesn’t match the content of what hiring managers are looking for on their list, you’re not even in the pool,” Diamond said. 

Changing the way that human resources crafts job descriptions and the way that hiring managers thing about the skills that are essential to the projects will open the door to a wider pool of candidates who bring more than technical expertise to their roles.

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