CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 7

ADVICE TO ADVANCE

YOUR CAREER

It's no secret that women are underrepresented in IT leadership
positions. For example, only about 17 percent of Fortune 500
companies had female CIOs at the beginning of 2015, according to
a study by Boardroom Insiders.
This isn't to say that women are unrepresented in the IT senior
executive ranks. In fact, women account for nearly one-quarter of
the CIOs at Fortune 100 companies and exactly half of the CIOs at
Fortune 10 companies. And the relative representation of women
in the CIO role is impressive. Whereas 17 percent of Fortune 500
companies have a female CIO, only about 11 percent of them have a
female CFO, and less than 5 percent have a female CEO.
But women's relative success in making it to the top of the IT
function is little consolation for those who believe that the low
percentage of female CIOs needs to be raised - that it not only
dampens the aspirations of women coming up through the IT ranks
but also works to the detriment of companies who would benefit
from a CIO with a female perspective.
Unconscious gender bias and work-life issues are sometimes
cited as reasons for the relatively low percentage of CXOs,
including CIOs. But there is another reason particular to IT
executives: The lack of a robust pipeline of qualified female
candidates, resulting from the traditionally low percentage of girls
who pursue the so-called STEM subjects (science, technology,
engineering, and math) in secondary school and college. In
recent years, initiatives have been launched - epitomized in
the slogan "Code Like a Girl" - to overcome the perception that
STEM disciplines represent a geeky, boys' world. (The view of IT
as a primarily male domain didn't always exist. Sixty years ago,
it seemed perfectly natural for women to work in the world of
computers and information technology, as the article on
page 28 explains.)
It is against this backdrop that we asked three highly successful
female CIOs to reflect on their careers and offer advice to women
coming behind them - from schoolgirls to mid-career executives
- on how to succeed in the world of IT. We weren't looking for a
definitive checklist but rather some impressionistic observations
based on their experiences.
All three of the women - Andi Karaboutis, the former Global
CIO of Dell and now EVP of Technology and Business Solutions at
Biogen Idec; Becky Blalock, the former CIO of Southern Company
and the author of the book Dare: Straight Talk on Confidence,
Courage, and Career for Women in Charge; and Pam Parisian,
the CIO of AT&T Services - said they didn't think their gender
hindered, or helped, them over the course of their careers.
But they do have some interesting observations about being
a woman in IT and offer some lessons for up-and-coming IT
executives, male and female alike.



Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6

Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover1
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Contents
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - 3
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CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover3
CIO Straight Talk - Issue 6 - Cover4
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/womenintech2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue11
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue10
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue9
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue8
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue7
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue6
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue5
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue4
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue3
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue2
http://magazine.straighttalkonline.com/issue1
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