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Fewer Women In Top U.S. Tech Jobs Since 2010: Survey

Reuters  |  By Posted: 05/14/2012 8:01 am Updated: 05/14/2012 9:09 am


By Nick Zieminski

NEW YORK (Reuters) - The number of women in senior technology positions at U.S. companies is down for the second year in a row, according to a survey published on Monday.

Nine percent of U.S. chief information officers (CIOs) are female, down from 11 percent last year and 12 percent in 2010, according to the survey by the U.S. arm of British technology outsourcing and recruitment company Harvey Nash Group .

About 30 percent of those polled said their information technology (IT) organization has no women at all in management. Yet only about half of survey respondents consider women to be under-represented in the IT department.

Although women have reached senior positions at Facebook, Xerox , IBM , Oracle and other large companies, they are absent at the top of many IT departments. That makes it hard to draw others to senior roles.

"Less and less women are attracted into that space so you wind up creating a self-fulfilling prophecy," said Anna Frazzetto, senior vice president of international technology solutions, at Harvey Nash USA. "It's not a very welcoming arena to be in."

Women also face the "preconceived notion" that they are focused on other priorities like starting a family. That bias is damaging to IT departments because many struggle to find qualified workers.

The survey, conducted with TelecityGroup, included responses from 450 U.S. technology leaders. It is part of a wider, global survey that found increasing tech budgets and more visible roles for CIOs.

A majority of those surveyed said their organization is facing a skills shortage in areas such as business analysis and project management.

"The skills shortage is the biggest it's ever been, and it's going to cause companies to get a little more creative in shifting the culture of organizations," Frazzetto said.

That shift is already taking place at small companies, but large ones have yet to change their culture, she said.

While the U.S. average of 9 percent female CIOs has declined, it is actually triple the global average of 3 percent, Harvey Nash found.

(Reporting by Nick Zieminski in New York; Editing by Jan Paschal)

Take a look at the most influential women in tech, according to PeekYou, a people-indexer.
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  • #9: Ellen Kullman, CEO Of DuPont

    PeekScore: 7.32 / 10.00 <a href="http://www.peekyou.com/ellen_kullman/78658725" target="_hplink">Ellen Kullman</a> began her <a href="http://www2.dupont.com/Our_Company/en_US/executives/kullman.html" target="_hplink">career at DuPont</a> about 24 years ago, working her way from marketing manager up through the ranks of executive vice president to president to her current position as CEO and chair of the board, which she began on January 1, 2009.

  • #8: Virginia Rometty, CEO And President Of IBM

    PeekScore: 7.60 / 10.00 <a href="http://www.peekyou.com/ginni_rometty/333679852" target="_hplink">Virginia "Ginni" Rometty</a> was appointed to her current positions as president and CEO of IBM <a href="http://www-03.ibm.com/press/us/en/biography/10069.wss" target="_hplink">just this past year</a>, on January 1. One of her biggest accomplishments over the course of her 31-year career at IBM was the acquisition she led of consulting firm PricewaterhouseCoopers Consulting <a href="http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/26/technology/ibm-names-a-new-chief.html?pagewanted=all" target="_hplink">for $3.5 billion</a>.

  • #7: Cher Wang, Co-founder And Chairperson Of HTC

    PeekScore: 7.68 / 10.00 In addition to co-founding HTC Corp., <a href="http://www.peekyou.com/cher_wang/167494999" target="_hplink">Cher Wang</a> founded the computer processor supplier VIA Technologies, Inc. <a href="http://www.htc.com/www/about/#leadership" target="_hplink">in 1987</a>. Last October, <a href="http://www.forbes.com/sites/ericsavitz/2011/10/26/cher-wang-the-most-powerful-woman-in-wireless-takes-on-apple/" target="_hplink">Forbes named Wang</a> "The Most Powerful Woman In Wireless."

  • #6: Safra Catz, President Of Oracle

    PeekScore: 7.80 / 10.00 <a href="http://www.peekyou.com/safra_catz/51174974" target="_hplink">Safra Catz</a> assumed the role of president of hardware and software company Oracle <a href="http://www.oracle.com/us/corporate/press/BoardofDirectors/016342.htm" target="_hplink">in January 2004</a>. <a href="http://money.cnn.com/galleries/2011/fortune/1109/gallery.highest_paid_women.fortune/index.html" target="_hplink">According to CNNMoney</a>, Catz is the highest paid woman in business, with total earnings of $42,095,887 in 2010.

  • #5: Ursula Burns, CEO Of Xerox

    PeekScore: 7.89 / 10.00 <a href="http://www.peekyou.com/ursula_burns/57999322" target="_hplink">Ursula Burns</a> joined Xerox <a href="http://news.xerox.com/pr/xerox/ursula-m-burns.aspx" target="_hplink">more than 30 years ago</a> as a mechanical engineering summer intern and has held her position as CEO since July 2009. Shortly after becoming CEO, she led the <a href="http://online.wsj.com/article/SB125413413514545919.html" target="_hplink">$6.4 billion purchase</a> of Affiliated Computer Services, <a href="http://news.xerox.com/pr/xerox/ursula-m-burns.aspx" target="_hplink">the largest acquisition in Xerox history</a>.

  • #4: Susan Wojcicki, SVP Of Advertising At Google

    PeekScore: 8.00 / 10.00 <a href="http://www.peekyou.com/susan_wojcicki/76320003" target="_hplink">Susan Wojcicki's</a> run with Google started even before Google began. Back in 1998, Wojcicki rented out her garage -- the tech giant's birthplace -- to its co-founders, Larry Page and Sergey Brin, <a href="http://www.usatoday.com/tech/techinvestor/corporatenews/2007-07-04-google-wojcicki_N.htm" target="_hplink">for $1,700 a month</a>. After Google got on its feet, Wojcicki served as <a href="http://www.crunchbase.com/person/susan-wojcicki" target="_hplink">its first marketing professional</a>, eventually reaching her current position as senior vice president of advertising <a href="http://bits.blogs.nytimes.com/2010/10/25/google-promotes-susan-wojcicki-advertising-executive/" target="_hplink">in October 2010</a>.

  • #3: Marissa Mayer, VP Of Location And Local Services At Google

    PeekScore: 8.22 / 10.00 At just 37 years old, <a href="http://www.peekyou.com/marissa_mayer/3429432" target="_hplink">Marissa Mayer</a> is the <a href="http://www.crunchbase.com/person/marissa-mayer" target="_hplink">youngest member</a> of Google's executive operating committee. The talented exec joined the Google team fresh out of Stanford <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/07/06/google-marissa-mayer-women-in-tech_n_891167.html" target="_hplink">back in 1999</a>.

  • #2: Sheryl Sandberg, COO Of Facebook

    PeekScore: 8.34 / 10.00 <a href="http://www.peekyou.com/sheryl_sandberg/365002232" target="_hplink">Sheryl Sandberg</a> also has some ties to Google -- she used to serve as the company's vice president of global online sales and operations. Nowadays, Sandberg is one of the most powerful women in tech as Facebook's COO, a position she <a href="http://allthingsd.com/20080304/sheryl-sandberg-will-become-coo-of-facebook/" target="_hplink">snagged in March 2008</a>.

  • #1: Meg Whitman, President And CEO Of Hewlett Packard

    PeekScore: 8.98 / 10.00 Since becoming HP's new president and CEO b<a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/09/22/meg-whitman-hp-ceo_n_976597.html" target="_hplink">ack in September 2009</a>, <a href="http://www.peekyou.com/meg_whitman/50531455" target="_hplink">Meg Whitman</a> has made some bold moves -- most recently, <a href="http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2012/03/20/hp-pc-printer_n_1367656.html" target="_hplink">Reuters revealed</a> her plans to combine the company's PC and printing divisions in order to streamline sales. While it's <a href="http://www.latimes.com/business/la-fi-meg-whitman-20120405,0,4066578.story" target="_hplink">still yet to be seen</a> whether Whitman can turn HP around, she certainly <a href="http://www8.hp.com/us/en/company-information/executive-team/meg-whitman.html" target="_hplink">has enough experience to help her out</a>: Prior to her current position, she served as president and CEO of eBay for 10 years, from 1998 to March 2008.

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