Will Cloud Computing Kick the IT Door in for Women?
Poke your head into most data centers today and youre bound to notice a distinct gender gap. While women still represent only a fraction of IT workers today, some experts believe that cloud computing will offer the wedge in the door that women need to equalize staffing numbers.
Wed, August 29, 2012
ITworld — Poke your head into most data centers today and youre bound to notice a distinct gender gap. While women still represent only a fraction of IT workers today, some experts believe that cloud computing will offer the wedge in the door that women need to equalize staffing numbers.
Cloud computing presents an opportunity for women who are not as heavily focused on the architectural design, and how bits and bytes move through the organization, says JJ DiGeronimo, a veteran of IT and director of global cloud solutions at VMware. Well still need women who are technical, but cloud provides the chance to also champion ideas and work cross-functionally to define how IT is delivered to business. Skills, she believes, are a strong suit of many women.
The U.S. Department of Labor predicts that by 2020 there will be nearly 1.4 million computing and IT jobs available what should be a golden opportunity for women to fill out ITs ranks.
Yet, according to a 2010 report published by the National Center for Women & Information Technology, the percentage of computing occupations held by women has been declining since 1991, when it reached a high of 36 percent.
The picture is not any rosier if you look at education. Women comprised fewer than 20 percent of 2011 PhD graduates in computer science, computer engineering and information science, according to Computing Research Associations Computing Degree and Enrollment Trends report. Only slightly better, 30 percent of masters degree recipients in the same subjects were women. Worst of all, less than 13 percent of bachelors degrees were awarded to women.
So how will women be able to capitalize on the high growth rate in the technology sector 22 percent predicted by the Labor Department? All signs point away from the data center and into the cloud.
Gartner found in its 2011 CIO Agenda Survey that although, at the time, only three percent of CIO respondents had a majority of their infrastructure in the cloud, the number was expected to climb to 43 percent by 2015. Survey participants also cited cloud computing as their top technology priority.
At State Street Corp., cloud is definitely the betted-on technology horse and Lauren Savage, senior vice president for IT Strategy and Governance, sees women like herself being offered the chance to take the reins.