On International Women's Day, here are 3 women CIOs to know
Many industries, including technology, struggle with gender-based equality and representation. However, some major companies already have women as their CIOs, including Julie Averill, CIO of Lululemon. Averill was formerly CIO of outdoors brand, REI, where she once said, technology is the link that "gives access to the gear we sell [at REI] and inspires outdoor adventures," reports GeekWire.
The White House announced its replacement of acting federal CIO Margie Graves with a principal EY alum, Suzette Kuhlow Kent, in January. Kent's responsibilities fall somewhere between modernizing the federal government's IT infrastructure and uniting the public and private sector in cybersecurity practices.
- The Walt Disney Company's CIO Susan O'Day has been with the company for about a decade now, and under her purview are Disney's laundry list of other brands, including ESPN, Marvel and the theme parks. O'Day leverages emerging tech to help movies and beloved characters "come to life" for fan experiences.
Women face a disadvantage in industries historically dominated by men. In a report of 1,000 U.S. companies, only 19% reported having a woman as CIO.
Yet some of the largest companies in the U.S., including PepsiCo Inc., Qualcomm Inc. and Lockheed Martin Corporation, have women in the coveted top tech position.
Of Fortune 500 companies, 34% of women CIOs hold MBAs while nearly one-fourth of them are considered "lifers" who worked their way to CIO from bottom positions, according to a Boardroom Insiders report of nearly 4,500 CIOs internationally.
But before effective diversity can be reached, the door needs to open up for women beginning in a career with low female representation. There are initiatives taking already in works to create a more diverse STEM pipeline, like Mattel's plan to bring coding to 10 million children by 2020 with lessons hosted by Barbie.
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