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Diversify IT to Fill Talent Gaps

Earlier this month, IT and executive talent search firm Harvey Nash, in partnership with KPMG, released their annual State of the CIO Survey. Some interesting takeaways include, from the nearly 4,000 global IT leaders surveyed, almost half of them expect to see increases in their budgets within the next 12 months.

Leisure, technology and professional service sectors lead the ranks for reporting anticipated budget increases, followed closely by transportation and logistics, media, financial services, construction and healthcare.

Interestingly enough, there’s also been a reported uptick in expected IT headcount, static for the previous three years at 44%, now also up to nearly half of all surveyed at 47%.

That’s a lot of positive news in a field whose leaders are inundated daily about the rapidly growing threat of cyber attacks.

Thinking outside the box

In addition to the launch of BE’s Regional IT Roundtable Series, coming to a city near you next month, we’re excited to officially announce the launch of Midmarket CISO Forum slated for February 2019 in New Orleans.

Talent shortages, especially filling those roles requiring deep cybersecurity skills, continue to challenge CIOs in the midmarket space.

While we’ve balanced the scales a bit internally, women have historically made up the majority of our team at Boardroom Events. Our flagship Midmarket CIO Forum has always offered additional networking elements for female CIOs to tackle their unique challenges, but the number of women occupying the CIO role is growing at a snail’s pace. Last year, women comprised only about a quarter of all computer and mathematical occupations, and Deloitte calls the climb to an executive post for women in IT “a leaky pipeline” citing hiring biases, a lack of mentorship and inflexible work environments not compatible with starting or growing a family as reasons female technologists struggle to advance.

Diversify for competitive advantage

Former legal CIO Chris Romano cites working for openly gay, female and African American attorneys early in his career as having helped him pursue hiring for more diversified staffs.

“They made me a better manager, and they made better IT departments. A diverse staff offers perspective, empathy, creativity, and even conflict that you won’t experience otherwise. They will inject humanity into what is perceived as a sterile environment.”

In fact, Deloitte’s CIO program research indicates that there is true business value and competitive advantage for companies with women in leadership positions. Kavitha Prabhakar said female CIOs bring the power of persuasion and the power of influence – key skills for today’s CIO to build and maintain a transformational technology teams. Fumbi Chima, currently CIO of Fox Networks Group, started her career in accounting and moved into strategy and then technology. She said in her experience, female CIOs tend to be more inclusive and help build future leadership.

Stay tuned in the coming months for news from the BE network’s developing support system for Women in IT…

Peace,
Charles


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