The new CDO position: Gender gap narrows | #IBMCDO

Day 1 Kickoff - IBM CDO Summit 2016

One of the most interesting discussions set to take place at this week’s IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit in Boston, MA, is the change in demographics in the tech world. A recent study showed that half of Chief Data Officers (CDOs) are women. A large number of women are graduating with computer science degrees and yet end up as CDOs. While an extremely difficult role that is often nicknamed “miracle worker,” it is a less technical one. It may well be a hiring issue, pointed out Stu Miniman.

Miniman (@stu) and Dave Vellante (@dvellante), hosts of theCUBE, from the SiliconANGLE Media team, discussed these issues and more during theCUBE’s live coverage from IBM’s CDO Strategy Summit.

Small changes in hiring = big changes in staffing

The hiring issue may also reflect gender conditioning and self-selection, as Miniman pointed out that one recent study showed a trend that men may see they match 50 percent of a job description and apply, while most women will only apply if they match 75 percent.

Miniman knew one company that simply changed its job description and immediately saw the body of applications change from solely white men in their 40s to a much more diverse demographic range. As Miniman said, especially in a field that depends so heavily on innovation, different perspectives are very important.

Revolution in how data is seen

Another major shift is how data itself is viewed. During the early years of theCUBE in 2006–2007, data was viewed as a liability and could be used against a company. Examples include pharmaceutical companies with proof that medicine had bad side effects or email exchanges exposing less-than-ethical business practices.

Because of this, companies asked questions like, “What risks do we have keeping it [data] around?” and “How soon should we get rid of it [data]?” Vellante pointed out.

But now data is the new oil, and companies want to keep it forever because of the value it produces.

Watch the complete video interview below, and be sure to check out more of SiliconANGLE and theCUBE’s coverage of the IBM Chief Data Officer Strategy Summit.

Photo by SiliconANGLE