By Nick Zieminski
NEW YORK May 14 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
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
A majority of those surveyed said their organization is
facing a skills shortage in areas such as business analysis and
"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 higher than the global average of 7 percent,
Harvey Nash found.