Gartner: Firms At Risk Of Losing Women Technologists

The world is flat. Better go out and hire some women.

That seems to be the gist of a recent Gartner Inc. report on the gender gap in information technology. According to the Stamford, Conn.-based consultancy, women — with their strong communication and listening skills — are “innately better suited than men” to navigate the new global economy.

If organizations don’t pay heed to their female technology workforce, women will take their IT acumen and good ideas elsewhere, meaning the looming IT skills crisis just got 50% worse.

Gartner singles out five gender-based traits CIOs should pay attention to when building IT staffs:

1. Bilateral brain involvement in listening: Women are apparently better at listening with both the left and right sides of their brains; this has implications for roles like business analyst and team leader.

2. Spatial visualization, pattern spotting: Men are better at come complex mental visualization and pattern spotting; this has implications for certain aspects of engineering roles.

3. Language: Women are better at a range of language skills, such as verbal fluency. This has implications for analysis of human discourse and writing.

4. Aggression and risk taking: Men take more risks and are happier doing so openly; implications for innovation, competitiveness.

5. Social orientation and empathy: Women score better on social skills, understanding others’ views; implications for team building, negotiation.

adapted from article by Linda Tucci, Senior News Writer. 12.05.2006.

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Sandra Schwan

Sandra Schwan

Managing Partner at Evolving Strategies LLC
Sandra is the Managing Partner of Evolving Strategies LLC, a consulting firm helping companies and people learn, adapt and perform. Sandra holds a Master of Science degree in Adult Learning and Strategic Organizational Change from Northwestern University’s School of Education and Social Policy, and a Bachelor of Arts degree in Journalism from the University of Arkansas. Previous employers include the Corporate Executive Board, Lante Corporation, Kensington International, and Accenture where Sandra was awarded mentor of the year.

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