Next CIO returns for 2023 to continue to support the career development of aspiring IT and Tech leaders. \n\nNext CIO is the annual awards and mentoring programme helping aspiring IT leaders to develop their careers, build their network and improve their skill sets. It is an opportunity for aspiring digital, data, and technology leaders to join an exclusive community that supports inclusion, career development, and progress, and for current CIOs and business leaders to reward their colleagues and peers on what they have achieved. \n\n2022 welcomed 26 members to the Next CIO Cohort and throughout the year were connected with a CIO mentor and gained exclusive access to some of the UK\u2019s leading digital, data, and technology professionals through workshops and sessions. \n\nWorkshops included balancing great leadership, communicating with the board, determining how we learn and tech skill development strategies, as well as sharp strategy, and the transition to being a first-time CIO. \n\nDave Roberts, a next CIO Judge, and mentor shared with CIO: \u201cI think it\u2019s incredibly important to be able to have people on your journey that can give you an unbiased view of what you\u2019re going through at the time\u201d. \n\nWith Next CIO UK targeting digital, data, and technology professionals with aspirations of being in a senior executive role within five years, it represents an opportunity to recognise developing talents while addressing the IT industry\u2019s biggest flaw \u2013 diversity. \n\nA recent report by TTC, discussed in this CIO report, shared that only 22% of senior tech roles are held by gender minorities, a figure that is 6% lower when compared to tech roles overall, while ethnic diversity almost halves in senior roles, dropping from 25% to 13%. \n\nHowson and Roberts shared last year how aspiring leaders will need a breadth of skills and highlighted how \u201c[they\u2019d] love to see more female leaders and I know that we as a judging group would love to see more diverse leaders in all areas, across the board.\u201d \n\n\u201cFor me, this is a way of helping us reach the next generation of technology leaders, to encourage and showcase a diversity of technology leaders, and show that you can come from any kind of career path to get into that CIO or CTO spot.\u201d \n\n2023 will host a similar series of workshops and will continue the mentoring programme. Next CIO members will also be invited to various networking events and CIO Forums and Summits. \n\nHow to apply for Next CIO? What to include in your submission? \n\nApplications for Next CIO UK are now open until 31st March 2023. Award submissions can be made directly by the nominee, or on their behalf by a line manager or senior executive. You can view the virtual session with judges Dave Roberts, Dom Howson, and Nadine Thomson on how to apply here: \n\nAll entries will be reviewed by the expert judging panel and the winners will be announced at the live awards ceremony in London on 16th June 2022. \n\n\u201cHave the confidence and apply,\u201d says Thomson. \u201cIf you\u2019re on the [webinar], then you\u2019re good enough put an application in. That would be my call to arms.\u201d \n\nOther top tips from the judges from the on-demand webinar: \n\nApply for the Next CIO programme here by 31st March. The Next CIO Awards will be hosted at the Goldsmith Centre in London on Thursday 15th June.