by Mark Chillingworth

Women CIOs show strong leadership on International Women’s Day

Mar 07, 2010
CareersEnergy IndustryFinancial Services Industry

Gordon Brown, to get some coverage on International Women’s Day, says the lack of women on the boards of companies is “unacceptable”. Considering his cabinet is a bit thin on the influence of women, this could be seen as a bit ironic. Although the men dominate the CIO world, there are a number of very impressive women heading up the IT operations in the UK. There are 11 major UK organisations whose IT strategy is led by women, click on the hyperlinks to learn more about them. The leading women CIOs are: Tania Howarth, CIO and HR director for food maker Birds Eye led an impressive split from Unilever to create a Greenfield IT site and strategy. Tiffany Hall has recently become the CIO of national cultural organisation the BBC and helping the broadcaster adapt to how technology is changing the face of the media. Christine Connelly has probably the hardest brief a CIO can have, leading the modernisation of IT in the NHS as CIO of the Department of Health. Anne Moises is CIO of one of the youngest government IT positions, heading up technology for the new and very modern Scottish Government. Just along the M8 at Glasgow City Council the IT strategy is led by Cathleen Nelson. Elsewhere in the public sector Ailsa Beaton heads IT for Britain’s largest police force the Metropolitan Police at Scotland Yard and Catherine Doran is very well respected as head of IT at Network Rail and Caroline Smith is navigating technology issues such as subsidy payment problems at Defra, the department responsible for keeping British agriculture feeding the nation. In financial services Veronique Arnoldi is pulling together IT at Aviva Investors, part of the Aviva insurance and pensions empire and Yasmine Jetha is putting her impressive record into IT improvements for insurance and private healthcare provider Bupa. In the utilities sector Theresa Hayes leads IT at one of the largest energy providers RWE Npower. Technology companies are not to be outdone either with Adobe and Avaya having their own IT operations governed by women.