Recruiting and retaining women in information technology: a CIO’s perspective
Most IT people would admit that women are underrepresented in generalist IT roles, but it’s especially noticeable in IT leadership and cybersecurity positions. I personally know a number of competent and tenured female IT leaders who have carved out exciting and fulfilling careers in our industry, so what’s attracted them to the industry and keeps them engaged while so many of their peers have elected to leave?
At this year’s Gartner Symposium and IT Expo in Orlando, it was apparent that the ratio of men to women hasn’t changed since I first attended back in 2008. Gartner’s Symposium is the preeminent gathering of CIOs and IT Executives and, interestingly, it’s the only large-scale event I attend where the line for the men’s room is longer than that of the women’s room.
Published statistics confirm my observations. The proportion of women in technology has effectively stalled and, in some roles, even declined. In the U.S. in 2008, women held 25% of IT jobs – this has dropped from 36% in 1991. In information security, women represent a meagre 11% of the profession. Furthermore, women in information technology careers who are aged between 25 and 34 are increasingly reporting dissatisfaction with their careers. 56% of these women are leaving their jobs at, what would seem, the highlight of their career, which is twice the quit-rate for men. According to a Reuters study, 30% of 450 technology executives said that their teams had no women in leadership positions at all. So, it seems that women are being left behind in the technology sector, while the sector itself continues to grow and flourish. The U.S. Department of Labor has estimated 1.8 million IT jobs will be created by 2018, so something needs to be done to draw from that talent pool that makes up 50% of the population…Click HERE to read full article.