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May 13, 2014

Female CIOs see higher IT budget increases than male counterparts

But the number of female CIOs has not grown since 2004.

By Amy-Jo Crowley

Female CIOs expect a higher 2014 IT budget increase than their male counterparts with an average 2.5% rise compared to their male counterparts who will see 0.2%.

Tina Nunno, research VP at Gartner, said: "This is good news, and boards and CEOs should have confidence that gender is simply not an issue relative to strategic focus."

Gartner’s findings put the overall rise in budget increase for women CIOs down to a higher number of chief digital officers (CDOs) in companies where female CIOS are present. It added that a slightly larger percentage of female CIOs’ IT budgets were outside of the IT department.

The survey also found that female CIOs are more likely than men to have a CDO present in the organisation, with 8.9% of the women having a CDO present and 6% for men.

"These two trends combined, although very early on in the maturing of the CDO role and based on a very small global population of CDOs, will be important trends for both CIOs and CEOs to watch going forward," explained Nunno. "They may be an early indicator of women’s affinity for the role or of some difference in the backgrounds of male and female executives that may bear further study and examination."

The Gartner survey was based on a sample of 2,339 CIOs, representing more than $300bn in CIO IT budgets in 77 countries, of which 13.2% were women.

However the findings showed the number of female CIOS has remained the same since 2004, when Gartner first released the CIO Agenda survey data by gender.

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"It is disappointing that the overall percentage of women in the role has not grown significantly in the last 10 years," said Nunno.

The research revealed that almost half of the CIOs surveyed are concerned that the next digital wave is coming faster than they can cope.

Gartner said that the top three priorities for both genders were also identical in sequence, with business intelligence coming first, followed by infrastructure and data centre, and then mobile in third position.

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