Women account for quarter of CIOs, study finds
While men still dominate senior board positions there has been a slow but steady increase in the number of women in CIO roles over a four year period, according to a study by Frank Recruitment.
The tech recruitment firm analysed data from FTSE 100 ranked companies over four years between 2018 and 2022, which showed that just over a quarter (27%) of CIO positions last year were held by women.
Across the past five years, 42 women were noted to hold the most senior tech position at a FTSE 100 company, compared to 138 men, with ten more female CIOs in 2022 than there were in 2018.
In terms of tenure, companies also appear to be struggling to keep their female CIOs for as long as their male counterparts – with an average serving length of two years, with only four women serving over five years. By comparison men’s average tenure in the role was three years.
Female C-suite tech staff also appear not to be reaping the financial rewards that come with their position. In 2021, Bloomberg estimated the gender pay gap in tech at 3%. So in addition to difficulty accessing leadership opportunities, women are also paid less in those roles.
FRG suggested that female leaders often work harder and for longer hours than men in the same positions, but their efforts tend to go unnoticed. “As a result, they are more likely to experience stress and burnout, which can take a toll on their mental wellbeing,” the company said.
However, FRG contended that some companies were either “disinterested” or were “acting too cautiously”. It added: “Business transformation requires more than using the latest tech or keeping up with industry trends. It also implies a cultural shift, one that is powerful enough to break barriers.”
According to Frank, a good starting point would be to hire more women and to support them into leadership roles – even if it means rethinking the hiring process entirely.
A recent global study affirms that female leaders have many attributes that make them effective in the CIO role. They are highly assertive, strong-willed, and persuasive. They also tend to have a higher risk tolerance than men. Women also take the time to reflect, analyse things, and listen to others, and often have a collaborative leadership style which is crucial to the smooth running of any business.
Last year, TechInformed published a report looking whether working from home led to inequalities in tech workplaces . Click here to read more.
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