Perspectives

Smashing IT’s glass ceiling: Perspectives from leading women CIOs

Despite diversity being high on the agenda of businesses, not enough women occupy seats in the C-suite. The same is broadly true in technology, but women are slowly moving up the ranks, bringing with them a unique blend of leadership skills. In this special edition of CIO Insider, we explore perspectives from leading women CIOs on essential leadership qualities and what it takes to build an inclusive culture.

No shortage of ink has been spilled on the challenges faced by women in today’s IT workforce. Many business leaders and corporate boards are taking steps to improve C-suite diversity; yet, too often, women continue to be underrepresented in technology leadership positions and the technology workforce in general.

Despite numerous challenges, many highly competent and qualified women have risen through the ranks and smashed IT’s glass ceiling. In fact, the percentage of women technology chiefs is far higher than that of female CEOs and CFOs, according to multiple analyses1—perhaps because technology teams can benefit from women’s unique combination of leadership skills, such as empathy, flexibility, persuasiveness, assertiveness, and risk-taking.

This special edition of the CIO Program’s CIO Insider, the first in a series focused on gender diversity and inclusion in IT, shares insights from women who have risen to the top of the IT profession, including their perspectives on essential leadership qualities and guidelines for cultivating diverse and inclusive IT cultures.

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