Findings & Takeaways

The WBC research analyzed how to increase the number of women in technology roles by specifically:

  • pinpointing the number of women executives currently holding technology roles in C-Suites of leading companies
  • assessing how the numbers fared vis-à-vis male C-Suite technology leaders
  • identifying the skills and actions needed to increase representation.

C-Suite Tech Positions Analyzed

C-Suite technology roles, not just in name but in responsibility, often vary from organization to organization. To provide a clear, accurate picture of these roles, WBC first defined exactly what is meant by “tech leader.”

For the purposes of this report, a C-Suite technology leader is defined as:
a top-level decision maker who focuses on data and information, security, systems and digital. The tech leader can oversee day-to-day technology matters and/or future technology plans and vision. This C-Suite executive can have an internal technology infrastructure and systems focus and/or a new product/service development focus.

WBC then pinpointed and defined 12 titles which meet these criteria:

  • Chief Information Officer (CIO) This leader is the most senior technology executive in an organization and manages the people, processes, and technology to support the organization’s strategic and operational goals. This leader presides over all elements of the organization’s technology from systems, infrastructure, data, security/governance, architecture, enterprise applications, service delivery, and execution. The CIO must typically have strong management and financial skills and will occasionally present
    to the board.

  • Chief Security Officer (CSO) Data security, systems security, and physical security come under the domain of the CSO. Larger organizations will usually employ a Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) to oversee data and information security specifically.

  • Chief Information Security Officer (CISO) A senior-level executive who oversees an organization’s information, cyber, and technology security, the CISO’s responsibilities include developing, implementing, and enforcing security policies to protect critical data.

  • Chief Technology Officer (CTO) The CTO will usually lead technology decisions from an architectural and deployment/execution standpoint. Typically reports to the Chief Information Officer, but in technology-driven organizations, CTOs can lead engineering/development groups and report to the CEO. Other responsibilities can include technology thought leadership, research and development, technology policy, and technology architectural/planning.

  • Chief Data Officer (CDO) and/or Chief Data Analytics Officer (CDAO) These leaders are responsible for the enterprise-wide governance and utilization of data as an asset. They manage the organization’s data and information strategy, security/governance, quality control, policy, development, reporting/interpretation, and monetization.

  • Chief Analytics Officer (CAO) The CAO oversees an organization’s collection of data and its use to create analytics and business intelligence models. The CAO works closely with the CIO to establish the infrastructure required for analytics. The CAO may also be responsible for the creation of data warehouses, formula data governance and management frameworks, and reporting and visualization tools.

  • Chief Data Scientist and/or Chief Data Science Officer (CDS or CDSO) This tech leader is responsible for supporting IT processes utilizing data science, machine learning, and AI throughout the organization in order to effectively develop technology strategies, techniques and approaches which deliver business capabilities while navigating ethical concerns around use of these technologies. The CDSO is usually responsible for establishing a governance framework for responsible use of AI & models including considerations for data quality & integrity, bias, monitoring & controls and safety engineering.

  • Chief Digital Officer (CDO) The role of the CDO is to navigate and lead an organization through the continually evolving technology/digital landscape including mobile/online/data/social media. Oversees converting an organization to digital, or modern/online technologies/data/processes. Often works within rapidly changing or disrupted sectors with a focus on customer engagement. The chief digital officer is a customer-facing role that signals a commitment to a digital future. At others, the chief digital officer’s main responsibility is to strategically transform the company’s business.

  • Chief Digital Information Officer (CDIO) A leader who combines business acumen with digital expertise to help organizations drive digital transformation via an enterprise-wise digital vision and strategy. Oversees the adoption of digital technologies across an organization, transforming business strategy using technology and data.

  • Chief Executive Officer in Technology Sector (CEO) The CEO is one of several corporate executives charged with the management of an organization. Based on the nature of the work in this sector, the CEO is usually heavily involved in key decisions and strategies related to technology.

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