IT dept risks becoming a dinosaur – 93pc of CIOs are men

29 May 2012

Ninety-three per cent of CIOs are men, a new study reveals. And with the pipeline of women vying for the role not looking too strong, the IT department risks becoming a dinosaur.

These are some of the findings in the international Harvey Nash report, which will be unveiled in its entirety for Irish CIOs at the Aviva Stadium in Dublin on 7 June.

Ninety-three per cent of CIOs responding to the survey this year are male – this compares to 92pc male in the survey population from 2010.

More than a third of CIOs (35pc) confirm there are no women in IT management roles in their organisation. For 46pc of CIOs less than a quarter of their IT management roles are populated by women.

The split of male to female workers is also significantly skewed in technical functions. Almost a quarter of CIOs (24pc) have no women in their technical teams; for 45pc of CIOs women only make up about one-quarter of their technical team, while for 20pc of CIOs half their technical team are women.

The need to hire more women in IT

Non-technical roles such as business analysis and training do have more women represented in IT departments. Six per cent of CIOs have non-technical teams that are almost exclusively made up of women; 12pc of CIOs have non-technical teams with women in 75pc of the roles; 35pc of CIOs have up to half their non-technical roles filled by women.

More than half of CIOs (51pc) think relationships between IT and the business improve by hiring more women, and 48pc believe it enhances team cohesion and morale.

However, the vast majority of CIOs think there is no impact on strategy (82pc) and technical nous (86pc) from hiring more women into IT.

There is a massive 30pc gap between women CIOs and their male counterparts regarding their view of women ‘getting the job done’ at various levels of the IT team.

However, both male and female CIOs recognise that in the current fast-moving environment, where it is clear that IT departments are increasingly focused on managing business relationships to pursue growth and less on sweating technology assets to deliver efficiency, increasing the proportion of women in the IT team will improve relationships between IT and the rest of the business.

John Kennedy
By John Kennedy

John Kennedy is a journalist who served as editor of Silicon Republic for 17 years. His interests include all things technological, music, movies, reading, history, gaming and losing the occasional game of poker.

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