Decrypting Diversity 2020 is a joint report between KPMG UK and the NCSC, supported by Imperial College London. The report’s aim is to drive a more diverse and inclusive culture in the UK cyber security industry. It draws on a survey of 1,252 cyber professionals to understand the diversity in the industry and their experience of inclusion in their place of work or study.

This is the first in an annual series that will benchmark and track the levels of diversity and inclusion in the industry. The case for improving diversity and inclusion in the industry needs no justification and from a business perspective, there is an abundance of evidence that shows the benefits over and above the moral case.

The industry presents a complex picture, showing diversity with higher levels of representation than the wider technology industry in some cases, such as LGB and female representation and cyber professionals feeling confident in being themselves in the workplace. Though when we examine the experience of different groups and communities, there are higher levels of discrimination and lower confidence in being themselves. For example, 41 percent of black survey respondents said they had experienced an incident of discrimination in the last year. 

In our report we discuss these and other experiences that show the industry may suffer a lack of diversity and issues in inclusion, that could lead to a loss of talent from the industry.

Key Findings


  • 11% of respondents identified as LGB (vs 3% of UK population, from a recent ONS survey)
  • 31% of respondents identified as female, which is low relative to the population (51% ONS 2019) but higher than other technology industry surveys (e.g. 19% found by Technation)
  • 13% of respondents identify as a minority ethnic group (Black, Arab, Asian or Mixed ethnicity) (vs 12% of UK population, 2011 census)


  • 72% of respondents feel confident being themselves in the workplace
  • 19% of respondents experienced at least one negative incident in the last year, with 74% of incidents going unreported
  • 8% of all respondents stated they’re considering leaving their employer or the industry

Read our full report, including recommendations and industry-led working groups that will identify initiatives to ensure the cyber industry fully benefits from the talent available in the UK and beyond. 

You can also watch our on-demand webinar (subtitled) of the report launch including guest speakers from the NCSC, Imperial College London and colleagues from the Cyber industry. 

To discuss cyber security and how KPMG are helping clients across the UK contact Martin Tyley, Partner and UK Head of Cyber Security.

Connect with us