Women CIOs Outdo Male Counterparts In Digital Leadership

by CXOtoday News Desk    May 14, 2014

female cdo

When it comes to digital leadership, female CIOs were more confident about their enterprise’s ability to deal with the wave of digital opportunities, says a Gartner survey that found 51% of female CIOs are confident to cope with the upcoming digital torrent that is likely to sweep the industry. In fact, the percentage of male CIOs - who still dominate the tech scene - had shown a greater concern about their digital transition.

The survey shows that women are embracing digital trends in the same way as their male counterparts and, in some cases, even more so. Also female CIOs are also more likely to have a chief digital officers (CDO) present in the enterprise than their male counterparts. while nearly 9% of the women had a CDO present in their organization, only 6% of the male CIOs reported having a CDO.

Additionally, 25% of the CDOs were women. These two trends combined, although very early on in the maturing of the CDO role and based on a very small global population of CDOs, will be important trends for both CIOs and CEOs to watch going forward, says VP and Gartner fellow, Tina Nunno.  They may be an early indicator of women’s affinity for the role or of some difference in the backgrounds of male and female executives that may bear further study and examination, she said.

While there are positive similarities between women and men in the CIO role, as they share similar reporting lines, priorities and technical challenges in the enterprise, a few variations in gender data show that women are embracing some digital trends in the same way as their male counterparts and, in some cases, even more so.
-Tina Nunno, VP and Gartner fellow

Read: Seven Most Powerful Women In Tech

The other interesting finding of the survey include riding on the digital wave, female CIOs expect to increase their IT budgets by 2.5%, whereas male CIOs report an average of 0.2% increase.

As far adoption of the key technologies are concerned, including, BI, mobile and cloud, there were virtually no differences in terms of gender priority, apart from cloud computing which female CIOs ranked a little higher than their make counterparts. Similarly, female CIOs placed compliance as one of the important areas of technology, whereas male CIOs ranked collaboration a little higher, which the analyst firm believes that there are no definitive reasons for these differences.

In some cases, the differences may be related to industry or enterprise maturity, it says, although Nunno believes that the overall increase in budget may be correlated with subsequent data that shows a slightly higher incidence of CDOs in enterprises where female CIOs are present and may account for the increase in budget overall.