CIOs lack diversity, says Experis

Middle-aged men hold most CIO roles

The tech industry is still plagued by inequality, research by Experis has revealed, with the majority of CIOs being middle aged men with a degree in a STEM-related subject.

Almost 90% of CIOs were male and all those studied were aged in their late forties to early fifties, with the average age 49. Almost all had completed higher education, with half holding a degree in computer science, engineering, maths or electronics.

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"From working with some of the top CIOs at the world's biggest organisations, we recognise that there is still a traditional route to the top', founded in technology and science and often moving up within a company," Geoff Smith, managing director at Experis UK and Ireland, said.

"However, it's encouraging to see that some of today's highflyers studied humanities or business subjects before moving into technology and IT. Ultimately, it shouldn't matter if you have a STEM degree or not, as our customers increasingly talk about the need for a CIO to have wider communications and business leadership skills."

He added that diversity is a major focus for many of the company's clients and although organisations are making progress, there is still some way to go until all genders, ages, ethnicities and educational backgrounds are fairly represented.

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"We're starting to see more awareness campaigns to encourage these groups into tech," Smith added. "However, it's up to businesses to widen their search criteria and develop tailored talent attraction campaigns that will entice these individuals. Finally, it's important to nurture and mentor individuals from different backgrounds into leadership positions."

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