Women need more opportunities for leadership development in the ICT sector, new research by Deloitte has claimed.
The ‘Women in ICT – Perspectives and Perception’ report found less than 20 per cent of Australians working in the industry are female, with the disparity worsening at senior levels.
According to Deloitte, the number of women in ICT leadership positions in Australia is “tiny” and organisations need to address this issue quickly due to the rapid evolution of business technology.
Kaylene O’Brien, Deloitte Consulting technology partner, said businesses must shift this gender imbalance if they expect to attract and retain the country’s best talent.
“Our teachers and career advisors need to see the potential for women to have rewarding careers in the ICT industry and they need to encourage them,” she explained.
“The benefits for the sector and Australian businesses are enormous.”
Ms O’Brien claimed that once women begin reaching the higher echelons of the ICT sector, they can act as role models for aspiring chief information officers, both women and men.
There is a definite lack of support for school students and women looking to enter the sector, the expert added.
The report also highlighted the leadership skills and talents that will be required for ICT managers to succeed in an increasingly competitive business environment.
“Staying at the forefront of technological progress requires entrepreneurial skills that support strategic planning,” Ms O’Brien explained.
Deloitte highlighted several skills considered core to ICT management success, including having a broad business knowledge and “empowered” leadership style.
Employers will also be looking for people with long-term vision, strategic planning and solid communication.