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CIO Quick Takes: What you need to know about women in tech

Dan Muse | April 26, 2017
We asked seven CIOs and other IT executives, who happen to be female, what they think everyone should know about women in technology.

It is well recognized that there is an emerging gender gap in terms of women employed in the technology sector. According to the LinkedIn 2016 Global Talent Trends Report, only 30 percent of the technology industry’s workforce is comprised of women.

As executives within the C-Suite, we need to ask the question of how we can position ourselves as mentors, supporters and advocates and show the next generation of women the various paths that are available in technology. One path might lead to a technical expert in a specific field, one path might lead to a technology generalist and one might lead to a technology leader and then business leader. Our company witnessed the culmination of this in 2013 with the appointment of Phebe Novakovic as chairman and CEO.

Within General Dynamics IT, we’re focused on building a foundation of mentors and seeking out opportunities to cultivate the long-term success of women with technical and soft skills to fit their unique path. That is what is great about IT. There is a different path for everyone and you get the chance to define it. Ultimately, our actions today will have a positive impact on our company, its culture and the industry-at-large.

 

Pamela Click, managing director, Global Corporate Solutions Technology (GCST), TIAA

pamela click 
Pamela Click, managing director, Global Corporate Solutions Technology (GCST), TIAA. Credit: TIAA

“Women are driven to excel, have a strong work ethic, have unique insights and are dedicated to their job. Professional women in IT strive to give it their all, and often more. At times we are balancing personal, community and professional responsibilities … by choice.  We are heads of household, parents, ex-military, elder care givers to name just a few of our diverse responsibilities and backgrounds.  We need sponsorship and to be actively considered (targeted, top of mind) for new roles, challenges and opportunities in the workplace.  By embracing women, you are promoting diversity of thought – a characteristic omnipresent in high-performing companies. 

To help women at TIAA, I and a male colleague co-sponsor the IT Women’s Council, which focuses on mentoring, sponsorship and mobility for women and has strong support from our CIO.  My advice: Be Bold. Be Inclusive… invite one of the women in IT to your table.  It will be worth it.”

 

Ursula Soritsch-Renier, CIO and group digital leader, Sulzer Management AG

ursula soritsch renier 
Ursula Soritsch-Renier, CIO and group digital leader, Sulzer Management AG. Credit: Sulzer Management AG

There is a lot to consider. In a nutshell, these three points have been constantly relevant in my IT career:

1. Remain authentic. Remaining the person you are is key. Women have a different style to communicate, to interact with others, to negotiate. Benefit from this, this can be a unique advantage in a male domain.

 

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