Published on 25/04/2022
The Ethnic Minority in Cyber (EMiC) Network
  • The Ethnic Minority in Cyber (EMiC) network's flagship event is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport
  • Attendees will hear from inspirational speakers looking at current and future initiatives to increase diversity in the cyber sector
  • Dr Anitha Chinnaswamy from Aston University will be presenting a talk on gender diversity and inclusion in cyber.

An Aston University expert and founding group member of Ethnic Minority in Cyber (EMiC) is set to present a talk at a major cybersecurity event on 28 April 2022.

The EMiC network's flagship symposium is supported by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport and will take place at Edgbaston Park Hotel in Birmingham.

Attendees will hear from inspirational speakers looking at current and future initiatives aimed around increasing diversity in the cyber sector and will also be able to provide feedback into the initiative and policies going forward. The symposium will consist of a keynote speech, invited talks, panel sessions and round table workshops.

Dr Anitha Chinnaswamy from the Cyber Security Innovation (CSI) Centre at Aston Business School will present a talk on gender diversity and inclusion in cyber and the outreach work of the Centre with schools to increase representation.

Simon Hepburn, CEO UK, Cyber Security Council is the keynote speaker.

The EMiC network, of which Aston University is a founding member, is a pilot network for Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority cyber academia, professionals and businesses, with the long-term aim of significantly improving representation across the cyber sector.

Dr Anitha Chinnaswamy, lecturer in cyber security management at the CSI Centre at Aston Business School, says:

“I am looking forward to speaking at such an important event about an ever-important topic in cyber.

“While there is a growing cyber security skills gap and high shortage in the UK cyber sector, a recent survey found that only 17 per cent of cyber professionals are from ethnic minority backgrounds across all cyber roles.

“The cyber sector remains relatively nondiverse in terms of gender. Just 16 per cent of the workforce across these firms is female, compared to 28 per cent in other UK digital sectors.

“Those filling senior roles, typically with six or more years of experience, are particularly nondiverse across a range of characteristics including gender, ethnicity, disability and neurodiversity.

“For example, just three per cent of senior roles are filled by women.”

Aston University’s CSI centre, led by Professor Vladlena Benson, is the only female-led cyber security centre in the Midlands region and serves on the UK Cyber Security Council (UKCSC), alongside Simon Hepburn its CEO, to promote professionalism standards in cybersecurity.

Professor Benson, director of the CSI Centre at Aston Business School, said:

“Aston University CSI is actively involved in shaping diversity policy, such as with the launch of the NCS22 strategy in Birmingham and enabling the Cyber Explorer programme as a first schools’ engagement for girls from diverse backgrounds.

“As ambassadors we are passionate about working towards closing the gender gap. This will help pave the way for a future of gender diversity, and hopefully other types of diversity, in the cyber security field.

“Our work with female students in a highly diverse Midlands’ landscape highlights the challenges that are yet to overcome with the levelling up agenda.”

To find out more about the event please visit the site here.

Notes to Editors

About CSI Centre

The Cyber Security Innovation (CSI) Centre at Aston University, established in 2020, brings together stakeholders from industry, government and leading cyber security research institutions with the aim to deliver industry-aligned research outcomes. CSI members include globally-recognised academics undertaking research projects that have impact and address real-world cyber security challenges through innovative solutions.

About the Ethnic Minority in Cyber (EMiC) Network

The EMiC network is a pilot network for the Black, Asian and Ethnic Minority cyber academia, professionals and businesses with the long-term aim of significantly improving representation across the cyber sector.

It was founded by Aston University, Sheffield Hallam University, University of Wolverhampton, Coventry University, Cyber Quarter and Cyber Management Alliance.

About Aston University

Founded in 1895 and a University since 1966, Aston is a long established university led by its three main beneficiaries – students, business and the professions, and our region and society. Aston University is located in Birmingham and at the heart of a vibrant city and the campus houses all the university’s academic, social and accommodation facilities for our students. Saskia Loer Hansen is the interim Vice-Chancellor & Chief Executive.

Aston University was named University of the Year 2020 by The Guardian and the University’s full time MBA programme has been ranked in the top 100 in the world in the Economist MBA 2021 ranking. The Aston MBA has been ranked 12th in the UK and 85th in the world.

For media inquiries in relation to this release, contact Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager, on (+44)74469 10063 or email: s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

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Sue Smith, Head of Press and Communications
    0121 204 3521
    s.p.smith@aston.ac.uk

Sam Cook, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5065
    s.cook2@aston.ac.uk

Rebecca Hume, Press and Communications Manager
    0121 204 5159
    r.hume@aston.ac.uk

Nicola Jones, Press and Communications Manager
    n.jones6@aston.ac.uk

Alternatively, email pr@aston.ac.uk

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