When It Comes To Chief Digital Officers Women Are On The Rise

When It Comes To Chief Digital Officers Women Are On The Rise
SHARE
THIS



Think women aren’t getting to the top when it comes to chief technical roles? Well, think again says Anna Frazzetto (pictured below) the chief digital technology officer at the Sydney operations of Harvey Nash…

The role of chief digital officer (CDO) is opening the door to the c-suite for women. Both strategic and technical, the CDO role is one that women appear to be fully embracing.

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAb6AAAAJDgyMjBkYTRmLTI0YzYtNDQ2Mi1hZmE1LWJmNGQ2YzVmMTYzMA

At last we have some good news about the number of women in IT. As someone who is frequently asked about the gender gap in technology, I am eager to see positive results. Now a ray of light is shining through and, what’s more, it’s not shining down at the bottom ranks of the industry. Women are gaining ground at the top of organisations and inside the c-suite as the chief digital officer (CDO) role becomes more common and more central to business strategy and success.

The CDO surge

Not too long ago, the title of CDO was hardly heard at all. Today it’s an emerging role with a rapid growth trajectory. Just a few years ago, only a small percentage of businesses had a CDO role in place. Now, just two years later, almost 20 per cent of businesses have a CDO, which demonstrates a quick and substantial leap—one that took the CIO role a decade to achieve. The CIO role also appears to be much slower than the CDO role when it comes to embracing women executives. A recent report from Gartner revealed that only 13 percent of businesses have a female CIO while over 25 percent of CDOs are women.

Those numbers reflect what I am seeing across the business and technology sector. Typically, if I were to talk to 10 CIOs, nine would be men. The CDO ratio is more evenly split. Why are we seeing more women in the CDO role? What can other areas of technology learn from digital to attract and retain more women? Let’s take a look.

A more balanced candidate pool: Marketers

The CDO role is a strategy role first and a technology role second. An effective CDO plans and leads digital technology (mobile, social, big data and cloud) initiatives that transform processes, products and services to meet the evolving demands of a digitally savvy customer base. It takes operational, technological, financial and customer engagement experience to succeed as a CDO. And it’s that last factor — customer engagement — that has made marketing one of the main hunting grounds for CDO talent.

Digital technologies are delivering powerful tools for understanding, monitoring and connecting with buyers. Marketing departments, where the ratio of women to men is often closer to even, are embracing digital technologies and their leaders are gaining some of the key skills and broad business and IT insight needed to be effective CDOs. The higher number of women in marketing and marketing leadership, especially when compared to IT, has been a key factor in expanding the pool of female CDO candidates beyond IT departments.

The work-life balance factor

The digital career path is also proving to be more adaptive to professionals seeking to balance family needs and high ambitions. Technology has long been an area from which a substantial leave of absence is hard to recover. Because technologies change so quickly, it’s hard for all tech professionals to stay current when they take time out of the workplace. That has made advancement to executive ranks much harder for women.

But now we have the CDO and the multiple paths that can lead that position, from marketing and operations to finance and technology. It means women (and men too) who have had breaks in their careers can still make it to the top of the technology field without having to come straight up through the IT department.

Digital has more pull

Another key factor attracting more candidates of all genders to digital is its profile. For many new workforce entrants, digital owns the “cool” factor. Digital is seen as an exciting field that is driving big, important change through social and mobile technologies. Information technology, on the other hand, is often assumed to be where the no-frills, utilitarian tech work is done. IT is the department that keeps the infrastructure humming and the network secure.

Today I am seeing more young women embrace the digital path to career advancement, and I believe the higher, hipper profile of digital work will continue to attract young talent of both genders. Millennials were raised in an era where social media and mobile technology helped spark revolutions and change political outcomes. It’s a part of how they work, live and connect with the world. Fluent in Reddit, Instagram, Snapchat and Tumblr, they are a generation that wants to connect to something bigger. I see the CDO role as a powerful leadership model for digitally oriented millennial workers who have the ambition to both lead and embrace the challenges and opportunities technology offers.

Keeping the CDO track strong

So how do we keep the momentum? How do we keep women rising and thriving in the CDO role while also expanding that success across an industry where lack of female participation has been the norm for decades?

In my opinion, it starts at the top and at the bottom. Up at the top, the technology industry needs current leaders to mentor rising stars to provide career path support and guidance and to initiate cross-organizational discussions and programs that nurture future CDOs, CIOs and CTOs. In addition, businesses should look at increasing workplace flexibility and re-entry training for those who have taken time out of the workplace.

At the bottom, it’s about working with colleges and high schools—even middles schools—to get young women engaged in technology and business leadership programs. Take advantage of the dynamic profile digital has right now and market technology careers to young women and men. Internships should be made available to high school as well as college students as those who get an early foot in the door can turn into some of the most loyal, productive and ambitious employees a company has. Besides, getting tech-brilliant students into the workplace gives both businesses and interns insight into how business and technology work together.

Over the past 12 months, there has been huge increase in demand for digital skills, and that trend is expected to continue and strengthen. It’s a powerful opportunity for women with technology and business skills to embrace leadership roles and drive transformative business change as the composition of IT leadership transforms and diversifies for the better.

This opinion piece originally appeared on B&T’s sister business site www.which-50.com

Latest News

Is Kyle All Set To Get His Very Own Reality TV Show?
  • Media

Is Kyle All Set To Get His Very Own Reality TV Show?

Last week, rumours were doing the rounds than none other than Kyle Sandilands had been lured to the Network Ten to host some sort of Judge Judy-esque reality show where the shock-jock would apparently try and “resolve issues” between celebrities and members of the public. For its part, Ten was decidedly quiet on the idea, nor did […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
David Droga: Advertising Isn’t Going Away, Just Really Sh*tty Advertising Is Going Away
  • Media

David Droga: Advertising Isn’t Going Away, Just Really Sh*tty Advertising Is Going Away

David Droga, arguably Australia’s most successful creative having won more Cannes Lions than anyone else in history, opened the 2018 Cannes Lions Festival of Creativity on a apt topic: the power of creativity. Droga reflected on his career to date and then shared just one piece of recent work. “I’m going to show you one […]

IPG Study: Aussie Ad Spend Per Head Now Second Only To The US
  • Advertising
  • Media

IPG Study: Aussie Ad Spend Per Head Now Second Only To The US

The Australian advertising economy will increase by three per cent this year, according to the latest forecast by IPG Mediabrands’ media intelligence and investment division, MAGNA. The new forecast is in line with previous MAGNA estimates for this year and sees a similar level of growth to 2017.  Australia remains one of the most advanced and […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Charity Group Unveils Glorious Ad Highlighting The Daily Challenges For The Disabled
  • Campaigns

Charity Group Unveils Glorious Ad Highlighting The Daily Challenges For The Disabled

A new ad highlighting the everyday hassles and tribulations of people with disabilities is proving as witty as it is human. The ad is the work of Swiss disability advocacy group Pro Infirmis and show’s people with disabilities dealing with every maladies – awkward dates, weak grocery bags, dog droppings and the infamous red sock in […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Nude Mum The Star Of New Mars Campaign Via Clems Melbourne
  • Campaigns

Nude Mum The Star Of New Mars Campaign Via Clems Melbourne

Mars Bar Australia and Clemenger BBDO Melbourne have launched a new brand platform for the iconic chocolate bar, ‘Enough Chocolate to Deal with Anything’. Representing a shift away from positioning Mars Bar as something that provides energy, the new platform aims to showcase how the chocolate bar can provide Australians with the confidence they need […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Arq Group Activates New Branding By Hulsbosch  
  • Media

Arq Group Activates New Branding By Hulsbosch  

Arq Group has launched a new identity created by award-winning agency Hulsbosch, with the business rebranding from Melbourne IT to Arq. Previously known as Melbourne IT, the company was founded in 1996 as one of Melbourne University’s commercial ventures with the sole rights to manage .au domains in the early days of the Internet. Melbourne IT […]

Adshel Unveils ANZ Takeover Via PHD
  • Campaigns
  • Media

Adshel Unveils ANZ Takeover Via PHD

ANZ, in partnership with PHD and Adshel, have taken to the streets with a total take-over of the entire Adshel Live network. For one hour, between 8am and 9am on Tuesday 19 June, ANZ is inviting commuters to download the new ANZ app by showing six different ways the app can help them manage their […]

Nine Launches Big Ideas Pop-Up Store
  • Media

Nine Launches Big Ideas Pop-Up Store

Nine has today launched a new pop-up store, The Big Ideas Store by 9Powered, which will host a series of events, workshops, research studies and guest speakers that demonstrate how Nine’s integrated business works to formulate better solutions to the challenges facing marketers. Over the next two weeks, The Big Ideas Store will highlight how […]

Gillian Armstrong: Adland’s Become “Brainwashed Into Thinking All Directors Have Beards”
  • Advertising

Gillian Armstrong: Adland’s Become “Brainwashed Into Thinking All Directors Have Beards”

Acclaimed Australian director Gillian Armstrong has launched a scathing attack on the agency “boys’ club” that, she believes, continue to ignore female directors for TV campaigns. Armstrong, 67, cited stats that show half of all graduate directors leaving Aussie colleges are now female, they’re regularly cleaning-up in short film competitions, however, it’s not translating to directing work within the industry. Only about […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Carat & Initiative Share The Spoils In WA Government’s $65 Million Media Business
  • Media

Carat & Initiative Share The Spoils In WA Government’s $65 Million Media Business

IPG’s Initiative and Dentsu’s Carat have both been awarded a slice of the West Australian government’s $65 million spend. The government account is broken into two entities – campaign and non-campaign – each with its own agency roster. Carat has retained its long-standing position on the agency panel for all campaign work, which accounts for […]

A Golden Opportunity! Lucky Numbers For Sale!
  • Marketing

A Golden Opportunity! Lucky Numbers For Sale!

In case you missed it last week, a very lucky phone number – 1800 80 80 80 – is up for sale. And it could be yours!

Partner Content

by Customer Connect

The AppNexus Marketplace Launches Guaranteed Views
  • Technology

The AppNexus Marketplace Launches Guaranteed Views

AppNexus, the world’s leading independent advertising technology company, today announced the launch of Guaranteed Views, a marketplace product that changes the way advertising is bought and sold on the open internet. Guaranteed Views enables marketers and agencies to pay only for ads that are measured as viewable and is the first programmatic product that enables 100% viewable buying at scale outside of Facebook and Google.

Women In Media Profile: Kirsty Bloore
  • Media

Women In Media Profile: Kirsty Bloore

Bereft of any Monday motivation? Let today's Women in Media profile be like low-current electric waves to the brain.

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Dentsu Aegis Network Predicts Australian Ad Spend Growth Of 2.8%
  • Marketing

Dentsu Aegis Network Predicts Australian Ad Spend Growth Of 2.8%

• Ad spend in Australia forecast to grow by 2.8% in 2018 , with main drivers of growth in Government, Retail, Finance and Gambling sectors. • Global advertising spend to grow by 3.9%, revised up from 3.6% in January 2018. • Digital to overtake TV for the first time, to reach 38.4% of global share (TV 35.5%). In 21 out of the 59 markets tracked, digital will be the leading advertising channel in 2018. • One quarter (25.2%) of global ad spend will be delivered through mobile devices for the first time.

Pac Mags Appoints New Client Strategy Director For Victoria
  • Media

Pac Mags Appoints New Client Strategy Director For Victoria

Seven West Media’s Pacific Magazines has announced the appointment of Emma Baston as client strategy director for Victoria. Baston has worked in senior digital media buying and planning roles at various agencies including UM Australia, Cummins&Partners and MindShare, with exposure across the strategy, communications and creative process. She has also worked at Facebook in a […]

Seamless pattern of a crowd of many different people profile heads. Vector background.
  • Media

SBS Launches Diverse Communities Content Initiative

SBS has launched the Short-Form Content Initiative, a commitment to providing increased opportunities for Australian creatives from diverse communities through the commissioning and production of content for SBS On Demand. SBS has partnered with five of Australia’s screen agencies, including Film Victoria, Create NSW, Screen Queensland, Screenwest and South Australian Film Corporation. The initiative aims […]

BIG W Unveils Toy Mania Via M&C Saatchi
  • Campaigns

BIG W Unveils Toy Mania Via M&C Saatchi

BIG W, the home for families, fun and entertainment, has today launched its annual toy sale campaign – Toy Mania. Running until 11 July, the campaign showcases the frenzy and hysteria that comes with the BIG W toy sale. It also highlights that buying toys can be just as fun as playing with them and […]

Datorama Launches AI-Supported Data Visualisation Tool ‘Data Canvas’
  • Technology

Datorama Launches AI-Supported Data Visualisation Tool ‘Data Canvas’

Datorama, a global technology company, today announced the launch of Data Canvas, a suite of new data visualisation capabilities within its Marketing Intelligence platform. Datorama Data Canvas leverages the power of artificial intelligence (AI) in a brand new way — to help marketers create expert-designed dashboards to tell compelling, data-driven stories. Datorama’s previous AI releases have […]

Who’s Looking The Goods At Cannes Lions 2018
  • Opinion

Who’s Looking The Goods At Cannes Lions 2018

In this opinion, Fjord lead Bronwyn van der Merwe (pictured below) discusses the work to look out for at Cannes Lions 2018. I fully expect there will be some staggering examples of creative brilliance at Cannes Lions this year, and I’d recommend anyone going resists having their attention pulled by projects that are largely based on […]

Opinion

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
We Are Social Acquires Socialize
  • Media

We Are Social Acquires Socialize

We Are Social has acquired Socialize; however, it will not be renamed We Are Socialize or even Margaret for that matter.

Global Marketing Player adm Appoints Country Manager For Australia & NZ
  • Marketing

Global Marketing Player adm Appoints Country Manager For Australia & NZ

International marketing services business adm Group Ltd has appointed Matt Cave as its country lead for Australia and New Zealand. Cave (pictured above) has more than 25 years of industry experience in the Asia-Pacific region, and will be instrumental in driving adm’s expansion throughout Australia and New Zealand. With 26 offices in 19 countries around […]

Weploy CMO Ben Eatwell: “We Want To Help Businesses Challenge The Status Quo”
  • Media
  • Technology

Weploy CMO Ben Eatwell: “We Want To Help Businesses Challenge The Status Quo”

Weploy began with a shared realisation between two friends that recruiting quality staff had become too complicated and it was high-time so declutter the process. Based in Melbourne, the start-up combines Tinder-style online skills-matching with Australian job market, and in doing so, rids eager employers of the strenuous – and at times incredibly uncomfortable – […]

Nielsen Acquires Sydney-Based Media Analysis Business Landsberry & James
  • Marketing

Nielsen Acquires Sydney-Based Media Analysis Business Landsberry & James

Nielsen has announced it has acquired Landsberry & James (L&J), a leading media analysis and software company based in Sydney, Australia. L&J designs, develops and markets software across the entire media analytics, planning, buying and post analysis process for television, digital, radio, advertising expenditure and advertising creatives. Nielsen’s investment in L&J enables an unparalleled and powerful […]

Pac Mags’ Home Beautiful Partners With Harvey Norman To Launch ‘Cooks Co-Op’
  • Marketing
  • Media

Pac Mags’ Home Beautiful Partners With Harvey Norman To Launch ‘Cooks Co-Op’

Home Beautiful and Harvey Norman have partnered on a new content series which will transform a quintessential Aussie shed into a field-to-fork restaurant whilst showcasing culinary local heroes. In 2012, Martin Boetz (pictured above, right) – the chef behind the cult following of Longrain during his 13-year stint – escaped the bustle of the big smoke […]

Music Feeds & Purple Sneakers Join Forces
  • Media

Music Feeds & Purple Sneakers Join Forces

Music Feeds and Purple Sneakers have unveiled a new strategic partnership that will allow music industry and direct advertisers to extend campaign bookings across all Purple Sneakers digital platforms when booking with Music Feeds. Founded in 2005 by Martin Novosel as a club brand and events company, Purple Sneakers is a key player in the Australian […]

by B&T Magazine

B&T Magazine
Headway & App Annie Get Ready For FIFA 2018
  • Media
  • Technology

Headway & App Annie Get Ready For FIFA 2018

Headway, the leading data-driven media buying company, has teamed up with market data and insights company AppAnnie. Together, the companies have unveiled The App Marketer’s Guide to the World Cup – a whitepaper designed to help app marketers succeed. Every year, flagship sporting events are breaking the internet with increasing viewership and the 2018 FIFA World Cup […]

Twitter Makes In-Stream Video Ads Available To All
  • Advertising
  • Media

Twitter Makes In-Stream Video Ads Available To All

Social media giant Twitter has announced it’s making in-stream video ads available to all advertisers – including self-serve – across 12 markets, including Australia. The popular video format attaches pre-roll content in front of premium publisher videos and highlights. The 12 international markets where Twitter’s in-stream ads will be available are Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, […]