CIO Development

Women Leaders in Technology

We know the future of technology is bright and it will become ever more pervasive in our lives and work. To lead this future we need talented people who understand the way technology works and delivers value to users across all spectrums of our society. To ensure this we need leaders representative of the core of our society – including women. At CIO Development we are becoming increasingly active in promoting gender balance and diversity for IT teams. We feel very passionate about it.

The network of women leaders in technology has grown significantly and hence the activities we are now involved with has increased. Here is a menu of the activities currently on offer:

1. Talented Women in IT Workshops

“First course I have ever been on in my life where I have learnt so much about myself in 24 hours. Even after an MBA!” Mignon Mapplebeck, Director, Solutions Engineered Excellence

These workshops run from lunchtime to lunchtime with an informal dinner on the first evening. We run workshops either as an open programme, where women from different organisations come together, or in-house for a group from one organisation.

Feedback on the programmes is always incredible: “The self-discovery journey I experienced was quite mind-blowing. Meeting fellow senior ladies and sharing their experiences in an informal and relaxed setting helped me achieve such personal and professional mental growth in such a short time. I honestly now feel I have a set of tools to tackle all very bright future challenges and it was eye-opening to learn that leading ladies in senior positions all experience similar challenges.”

We always keep a waiting list for Talented Women Open Programmes. Our recent blog explains much more. Contact to register your interest or to get further details.

2. Women Leaders in Technology Network

This is a network of women in technology created out of CIO Development clients and contacts we have built up over the years – we have an active network on LinkedIn (CIO Development: Women Leaders in Technology) and a database of like-minded women. We meet around 4 times per year for members of the network to share key projects and initiatives they are working on. This enables the network to get lots of external orientation and go back into their own organisations with different perspectives and ideas. We also have a “fishbowl” where people can share issues or problems in confidence and we explore what others have done in the past to resolve these, or give feedback and advice. This is free – just send an email and we will invite you to our next event.

3. Mentoring and Coaching

This can be specific for women where we work one-on-one with clients to improve their performance. It sounds like a huge generalisation, but there are areas around confidence, emotional intelligence, work styles, strengths and weaknesses, values and impact which are more common with female leaders and require a slightly different approach with a trusted coach/mentor. Over the last year we have become extremely active in this space with the ground-breaking CIO Mentoring Scheme. We are actively looking for more women to join the scheme as mentors and mentees.

4. Gender Balance in Corporate IT

Over the last 10 years we have built up an understanding of what a CIO needs to do to improve the gender balance of the IT leadership team. We measure eight success factors and a series of key performance indicators. We benchmark organisations and set a series of steps in a roadmap to improve their gender balance and set themselves up for the benefits that come from having a team of high-performing talent working at optimum ability and delivering better results. We have case material from some of the leading IT functions in business today, who are currently best in class (and a group of senior women in IT have set the measure for world-class). This is a consulting engagement and is tailored to specific requirements. We also have a special interest group helping to address the gender imbalance in corporate IT. Click here to find out more about it.

5. Girls in IT Initiative

This is an initiative to engage 1,000 female role models in the UK IT Sector to give a presentation to a group of 10 to 14-year-old girls at a local school. Research shows that this is the age when girls get turned off technology and see it as a boys’ world, or geeky, and choose not to be involved with it. Our aim is to change this perception and legitimise technology as a career option. We ask that an organisation selects one or two champions who will lead this in-house. We provide all the material, presentation with speaker notes, introductory letter, handouts and feedback forms. There are orientation sessions to help the female role models prepare and we collect and keep all the feedback and records of who has been to each school. Click here to find out more.

If any of these areas interest you, or you would just like a discussion, please contact us.