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Female CIOs expect higher budget increase than men

Gartner report finds 2.4% of females expect budget increase, compared with 0.8% of male CIOs

Female CIOs expect a higher increase in IT budgets in 2015 compared with male CIOs, according to a report from Gartner.

Gartner’s global survey of nearly 3,000 CIOs showed 2.4% of females expect their busgets to rise, whereas only 0.8% of male CIOs expect an increase. Some 13.6% of the survey’s respondents were women and the report reflected more than $397bn in CIO IT budgets.

The report “CIO Agenda 2015: A Gender Perspective” forms part of the 2015 CIO agenda report.

The report also found female CIOs (76%) are more likely than their male counterparts (67%) to express concern over risk management and practices failing to keep up with higher levels of risk in an increasingly digital world.

According to the data, male CIOs see a 2.8% budget increase when they report to the CEO, whereas their budgets remain flat when reporting to other levels, with the exception of the chief operating officer (COO).

However, female CIOs expect to receive a budget increase regardless of reporting structure, with the highest increase of 3.2% coming from reporting to the chief financial officer (CFO).

“For a second year in a row, the women in our survey are expecting greater budget increases than the men,” said Tina Nunno, vice-president and Gartner fellow. 

“While it's not entirely clear why this difference exists, further survey data indicates female CIOs are more concerned about under-investment in risk initiatives than male CIOs. 

“The risk data, combined with budget numbers, may indicate female CIOs are more focused on the resource side of the digital equation than their male peers and are, therefore, requesting and accumulating more IT budget money,” she added.

Read more about gender diversity in  IT

Men and women identified the same top five technology priorities, focusing on analytics, infrastructure and datacentre, cloud, enterprise resource planning and mobile technologies.

“For good or bad, women and men view the top priorities virtually identically. Variations in top priorities by gender in past CIO surveys could often be attributed to significant differences in the industries where male and female CIOs worked.

“However, more recent data shows little difference in the gender dispersion of CIOs across industries, which may account for the consistency in prioritisation,” added Nunno.

The survey also found female CIOs (79%) are more likely to say they need to change their leadership style in the next three years, compared with male CIOs (74%).

Read more on IT technical skills

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