Visibility of women CIOs can help close the tech gender gap

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Though IT has historically been dominated by men, women are slowly gaining ground at the executive level. And, it is this sheer visibility of seeing more women in IT leadership that could help narrow the gender gap in technology.

At a recent technology event covered by The Wall Street Journal, Martha Poulter, CIO of Starwood Hotels & Resorts Worldwide, said that as the number of women technology executives grows, it can be encouraging for other women considering a career in technology to see them at that level.

And the number of women technology leaders is on the rise. The WSJ cited a report from Boardroom Insiders reporting as of Jan. 1, 2015, there were 87 female Fortune 500 CIOs, compared to 61 in 2012.

Another panelist at the event, Marcy Klevorn, CIO of Ford Motor Co., suggested having women CIOs is beneficial to reflect the diversity of customers to help anticipate customer needs.

Sigal Zarmi, CIO of PricewaterhouseCoopers, added having gender diversity at the executive level will have a ripple effect throughout the entire organization, creating a workplace that is more of an ecosystem of talent instead of a pipeline.

"People in technology have to be open to change, because technology changes so much," Ms. Zarmi said.

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