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Tia would agree that it can be a challenge to find diverse talent in the cybersecurity space. She has noticed that the number of diverse candidates is typically limited. When Tia evaluates job applicants, her focus is on what an individual can do, is capable of learning, and what they are passionate about more so than the letters that come after their name. She believes that the apprenticeship model will work in the cyber security field because learning by doing is an effective way to learn how to apply theoretical knowledge in real life situations. An apprenticeship can go a long way in driving a candidates confidence and helping them understand what concepts are important to learn. To retain diverse staff, specifically in technical roles, it is important to keep employees aware of their contributions to the organization. People are also looking to be challenged and get feedback on their performance. Furthermore companies need to have policies in place to make individuals with diverse backgrounds feel welcomed and supported in the workplace.
Tia Hopkins is the VP of Global Solutions Engineering at eSentire and an Adjunct Professor in Cybersecurity at Yeshiva University. She founded Empow(H)er Cybersecurity, an inclusive organization focused on diversifying the cybersecurity talent pipeline by empowering, mentoring, educating, and providing career guidance and opportunities for women of color. Tia is a technology sales engineering leader with a strong technical background and proven track record for implementing and supporting a wide range of technology solutions. She is especially interested in cybersecurity as it relates to the human factor and how basic human nature largely contributes to the success of social engineering.
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