Female CIOs Speak Out Ahead of Newly Launched WiT Initiative

The Global CIO Institute will hold its first ever Women in Tech event over the space of two days, targeting schools across the region, in a move to promote and embrace diversity and inclusion. Schools are encouraged to take part in this initiative to help address the highly visible gender gap.
Female CIOs Speak Out Ahead of Newly Launched WiT Initiative

With the WiT event set to run in two weeks, some of our incredible female CIOs have spoken and shared their thoughts on why such an initiative matters in this day and age. 

Spread the word to schools so that students will be able to hear from these powerful women and hopefully, be inspired to pursue technology in future. 

Read below:

"The more we talk about how working in technology is a fun and rewarding career, and by normalising this conversation for women, the more likely the next generation will consider technology as an exciting career choice. It’s important to continuously improve diversity and ensure the workforce is truly representative of our customers and communities… we need to start talking about it in schools and keep the conversation going."

Anna-Lisa Miller, Group CISO, Spectris

"Not only is it a pleasure to meet our future rising stars, but it should be simply a role all of us do. No job I have done so far in my career are ones I had even heard about when at school, or even at university. The more exposure and experiences we can share, warts and all, our journeys, and tips to thriving, the more we can inspire women. Technology is in every career, every solution and every societal need. Technology is one of the biggest enablers and barriers to inclusion. Every member of society therefore needs the most diverse range of people to come together to create those great solutions which enable and enrich the lives of the most diverse users. For this, we need non-technologists and technologists to create the greatest impact and support inclusion for everyone and we would be lucky for all those we speak to as part of this programme to consider a career in Technology."
Roxane Heaton, CIO, Macmillan Cancer Support
"I am delighted to be involved with the Global CIO institute WiT initiative.  We need to do so much more to attract females into our incredible industry and for them to want a tech career from an early age.  This is why we need to speak to them at school age.  I cant wait to share why I love my career so much and why Tech is a wonderful industry to work in.  We need to do as much as we can to attract this talent and create an inclusive culture, so this talent can thrive and prosper in our industry."
Jo Drake, CIO, The Hut Group

"Being a woman in technology is still viewed as being novel or unique. But together we have the power to change this perception. There is such an amazing opportunity to leverage our diverse experiences and abilities to bring incredible solutions to some of the biggest challenges facing society today. And through this event, we have an opportunity to empower and connect with each other. Encourage each other. Encourage new talent to enter the technology field. And I am so honoured to be a part of this effort with the CIO Institute."

Robin Sutara, Chief Data Officer, Microsoft UK

"All too often, the tech industry can be found wringing its hands at the lack of women in technical roles and senior roles, yet seems quite willing to not take responsibility for the current situation, let alone tackle it. The pipeline gets pointed to as the reason and then shoulders are shrugged. Yet taking a closer look tells us that programming was a female dominated role up to the 1980s and somehow both industry and education have conspired to push girls and women out of computing as a field. I had naively hoped this would change from my day as a comp sci undergrad in the 90s, but the needle just won’t budge on the gender balance.

Many well-meaning initiatives actually reinforce sexism (such as leadership courses which imply that women are at fault for not being in senior roles because we don’t behave the same way as men) or things to encourage girls into programming but don’t tackle bias in the industry which leads to those who join making rapid exits in their early career stages. So I take every opportunity I can to get the industry to take responsibility for tackling the root causes, not the symptoms. Despite my frustration on this issue, I have a fulfilling career in tech and believe many other women could do too. The industry is missing out on extraordinary talent."

Mivy James, Digital Transformation Director, BAE Systems Applied Intelligence

Registrations are open for all schools to participate and are free to attend. Apply here to get the joining link. 

To view the agenda for the 10th May, click here. For the 12th May, view here

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