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CIO Upfront: Are the advocates and sponsors of IT organisational diversity guaranteeing that it never happens?

CIO Upfront: Are the advocates and sponsors of IT organisational diversity guaranteeing that it never happens?

IT lawyer Jennie Vickers raises a key issue on a prime concern in the technology sector.

A recent gathering of lawyers and C-suite executives started with a women’s networking breakfast.

I am always uncomfortable in a room full of women, having spent so many years learning to belong, as a minority, in a male-dominated industry. I like the idea that such events are no longer necessary.

However listening to the stories from professional business women, it is clear that there remains a role for gatherings of women to learn from each other how to get the balance in their organisations, which delivers higher profitability and success by capitalising on the strengths that women bring to the table.

I am always uncomfortable in a room full of women, having spent so many years learning to belong, as a minority, in a male-dominated industry. I like the idea that such events are no longer necessary.


The story of a woman’s IT capex project approved by a CEO this week because of good data and a compelling business case, dumped yesterday for an unquantified IT project from a male because he advocated for his project to the CEO on the golf course, was shocking and disappointing but not surprising.

Over the last few years I have met many more executive men who were committed to seeing better gender balance in their organisations which is positive and exciting.

However, my question to them is “are you advocating for and sponsoring women, while still practising the same networking activities that are guaranteed to keep women out?”

Read more: It's showtime for IT leadership

Jennie Vickers is ANZ director for the International Association for Commercial & Contract Management. Reach her at jvickers@iaccm.com.

Photo by Jason Creaghan
Photo by Jason Creaghan


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