Chief Digital Technology Officer & SVP
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Women in Tech: A Story of Under-Representation?
The Harvey Nash CIO Survey has once again gripped the marketplace with insights into the challenges, changes and opportunities facing today's IT leaders. This year, one of the biggest stories of the survey points to a lack of representation of the number of women in IT leadership. Here are just a handful of the many articles the survey has sparked on the topic:
• Reuters - "Fewer women in top U.S. tech jobs since 2010: survey"
• Forbes - "How Women in Tech Are Losing From Top to Bottom"
• Wall Street Journal's CIO Journal - "Lack of Women in IT Is Cause for Concern"
• MSNBC - "Where Are all the Powerful Female Nerds?"
• Mashable - "Number of Female CIOs Is Dropping Fast -- But Why?"
• Insurance & Technology - "Survey Finds Fewer Women in Top Tech Jobs"
• Business News Daily - "Number of Women in IT Leadership Roles Declines"
Growing gaps in the IT talent pool in general are also an important story the media gleaned from the survey, especially staffing industry publications. For example, Staffing Industry Analysts: Daily News published an article called "Survey: 56% of CIOs Report Skills Shortage."
In the news industry, they like to say "if it bleeds it leads," which is part of the reason many people are drawn to the story of shrinking talent resources (female or otherwise). And it's true that the growing demand and limited supply of IT talent will continue to be a very big issue for the IT industry for years and years to come. That said, I also believe the CIO Survey points to another very interesting reason the squeeze for IT talent is tightening.
Several of the survey findings revealed that IT leaders and their technology organizations are doing a heavy amount of strategic and revenue-generating work for their businesses. As IT leaders and their organizations are asked to do more strategic business work and expected to deliver revenue-driving, business growing innovations, the skills needed across today's IT organization are changing.
From my experience and from the survey's findings, it seems we are seeing a rapid evolution in the kinds of skills and strategic thinking in IT leadership and the organization beneath it. The right candidates are harder to find because strategy, analysis, critical thinking and business planning have not always been foremost skills in an IT job requisition. As more and more IT professionals--from CIOs down--are exposed to the expanding role IT is planning in business strategy and growth, skill sets will expand, the talent pool will ripen and the gap will start to contract.
Will the talent gap in IT ever disappear? Not completely. It's the price we pay for working on the forefront of business progress and technology innovation, and it's the reason why trusted staffing and IT services partners are essential today. Everyone wants to be here.