There isn't much diversity in the CIO role

Even though a majority of world’s companies are pushing towards diversity, the CIO role has remained fundamentally unchanged. This is according to a new report by Experis, which says the average CIOs nowadays are mostly male, middle-aged and STEM educated. 

There were just 13 per cent of females in the analysis, and 87 per cent males. All of them were 40 or 50-something year-olds. The average age was 49. Nearly all of them had a degree. Half (50 per cent) had a degree in computer science, engineering, maths or electronics. 

Experis says there are some ‘promising anomalies’. A quarter (25 per cent) read a business subject at university, and just under a fifth (17 per cent) studied a humanities degree (Philosophy or Langage). 

Slightly under a third (29 per cent) had two degrees. 

“From working with some of the top CIOs at the world’s biggest organisations, we recognise that there is still a traditional route ‘to the top’, founded in technology and science and often moving up within a company,” said Geoff Smith, Managing Director at Experis UK & Ireland. 

“However, it’s encouraging to see that some of today’s highflyers studied humanities or business subjects before moving into technology and IT. Ultimately, it shouldn’t matter if you have a STEM degree or not, as our customers increasingly talk about the need for a CIO to have wider communications and business leadership skills.”

“Diversity is a major focus for many of our clients. While organisations are making progress, there is still some way to go. From gender – we know we need a wider female representation across the industry – to education, age and ethnic diversity. We’re starting to see more awareness campaigns to encourage these groups into tech. However, it’s up to businesses to widen their search criteria and develop tailored talent attraction campaigns that will entice these individuals. Finally, it’s important to nurture and mentor individuals from different backgrounds into leadership positions.”

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