(Washington, DC) Tonight, the House of Representativespassed an amendment introduced by Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (D-Miramar) toH.R. 4061, the Cybersecurity Enhancement Act. Hastings amendment addresses the lack of minority representation in the cyber security industry including women and African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans. The amendment adds language to describe how successful programsare engaging said minorities and addresses a plan of action to include minority-serving institutions on the Cybersecurity University-Industry TaskForce. The amendment passed by a vote of 417 to 5.
"I was disappointed, though, to discover the significant gender and racialdisparities in the cybersecurity industry. We know cyberspace touchespractically everything and everyone and, yet, I find it mind-boggling that wehaven?t made more of an effort to include everyone in protecting it," Hastings said.
"If we are going to address cybersecurity workforce concerns and advance thedevelopment of technical standards, we need to consider all of the different innovative opportunities out there."
"Women now constitute 50.7 percent of the US population as of 2008 and the US Census Bureau found that only 14 percent of women pursue professional careers in science or technology. Other underrepresented groups mentioned in my amendment include African-Americans,Hispanics, and Native Americans. All of these groups have historically been underrepresented in scientific and engineering occupations. The US Census Bureau recorded African-Americans, Hispanics, and Native Americans as28.2 percent of the US population in 2008 and, yet, these groups only representa mere 10 percent of the science and technology industry."
Hastings added, "In order to protect cyberspace, we need a strong vision and leadership. Both will require changes in policy, technology, education, and perhaps law. This bill will be recruiting the best and brightest and we must ensure these opportunities areavailable to all Americans."
Joining Hastings as an original co-sponsor of the amendment: Representative Ciro Rodriguez (D-TX).
Congressman Alcee L. Hastingsis Vice Chairman of the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence, a senior member of the House Rules Committee, and Co-Chairman of the U.S.Helsinki Commission.
Chiefof Staff, DC
Officeof Congressman Alcee L. Hastings (FL-23)