Where Are the Women CIOs? Three Speak Out
The number of female CIOs in the U.S. continues to decline. To find out where the next generation will come from, CIO.com asks three well-respected women CIOs how more women can make it to the top of the IT ladder--and we asked what advice they have for aspiring women CIOs.
Tue, July 24, 2012
CIO — For the second year in a row, the number of women CIOs in the United States has declined, according to a recent survey of CIOs and senior IT executives conducted by Harvey Nash, an IT recruiting and outsourcing firm.
To find out why that might be the case, CIO.com interviewed three well-respected women CIOs, representing three different industries: Helen Cousins, executive vice president and CIO of Lincoln Trust Company; Twila Day, senior vice president and CIO of Sysco Corporation; and Stephanie Reel, vice provost for information Technologies, Johns Hopkins University, and vice president for information services, Johns Hopkins Medicine.
CIO.com: Do women CIOsor aspiring CIOsface unique challenges? If so, what are they?
Helen Cousins (HC): Women as CIOs do face unique challenges. No matter how far women have advanced up the corporate ladder, it is still a man's world at the top level of most organizations. Being in technology, or any executive position back in the 70s and 80s, there were very few women, especially in international banking on Wall Street. I always felt I had to work twice as hard and put in twice the number of hours as my male counterparts.
My advice would be that if you are serious about wanting that top position, you are going to have to work hard at it and have many concrete successes along the way.
CIO.com: What advice do you have for women aspiring to become CIOs?
Stephanie Reel (SR): Understand the business you wish to work in. Read everything you canand listen very carefully. Always tell the truth - and do what you say you are going to do. Set high expectationsand work hard to achieve them.