LGBTQ Chief Information/Technology Officers
The role of a Chief Information/Technology Officer (CIO/CTO) is to keep an organization at the leading edge of technology adoption, both in terms of usage and security. As you can imagine, that is no easy task, what with the rapid pace of innovation in technology and the incessant threat of cyber-attacks on websites and communication systems. It is a relatively modern executive position within an organization, having been a senior-level position since the 1980s. Today, its importance is confirmed by the increasing number of CIO/CTOs who also sit on the organization's Board of Directors.
The CIO/CTO will make decisions on the purchase of technology equipment suitable to the enterprise. They will then ensure that employees are trained and efficient in the use of that technology. As improvements and new software uses arise for the organization, it will be the CIO/CTO's responsibility to create and implement those changes. The security of all aspects of technology is required, and proper corporate governance procedures must be enacted to ensure the appropriate use of technology by employees.
The CIO/CTO generally works alongside the Chief Executive Officer or Managing Executive Director of an organization. In technology companies themselves, the CIO/CTO may very well be the most senior officer.
The challenge with being an out CIO/CTO is that it requires the individual to share their personal lives with the public. This is not necessarily a requirement with straight business people (and particularly in private companies) and presents an additional hurdle to coming out in the workforce.
Most CIO/CTOs will confirm that additional data is required about the level of LGBTQ participation in the technology industry and its management. Data is key at the entrepreneurial level because it determines the extent of funding of grants and political decision making that affects the business. It is well known that diversity increases creativity, innovation and productivity. Work needs to be done to attract and empower minorities (including women) into the profession.
We have identified a small group of LGBTQ CIO/CTOs. You will note they held very important positions in both government and the private sector. They are equally spread out between male and female, and Amanda Simpson is the first transgender to be appointed to federal government administration. Read their biographies to find out more fascinating information about these individuals:
- Cynthia Fortlage, Chief Information Officer, GHY International
- Harry Small, former Chief Information Officer, Baker & McKenzie law firm
- Andrew Wilson, Chief Information Officer, Accenture
- Anthony Watson, Chief Information Officer, Nike
- Debra Chrapaty, Chief Technology Officer, Wells Fargo bank
- Brook Colangelo, Chief Information Officer, Houghton Mifflin Harcourt publishing and education house; former CIO, the White House
- Leilani Farol, Senior Vice President of Planning, Delivery and Execution for Cyber Security Technology, BankAmerica
- Ken Janssens, Managing Director Technology, JP Morgan Chase
- Ryan McGill, Chief Information Officer, United States Marine Corp/Army Reserve
- Amanda Simpson, transgender Chief Information Officer, the United States Army
- Allyn Shaw, Chief Technology Officer, Recycle Track Systems
- Megan Smith, Chief Technology Officer, United States Government
- Gerry Stone, Chief Operating Officer and Managing Director, Technology Infrastructure, Bank of America
- Stan Zanarotti, Chief Technology Officer, Dimensional Insight
- Jacqueline Guichelaar, Chief Information Officer, Cisco
- LGBTQ Chief Executive Officers of Business Enterprises
- Union Leaders Who Identify as LGBTQ
- Noteworthy LGBTQ Individuals in the Accounting Profession
- LGBTQ Economists
- Human Resource Professionals Who Are LGBTQ
- Marketing Professionals Who Identify as LGBTQ
- LGBTQ Venture Capitalists and Startup Advisors
- Investment and Wealth Management and the LGBTQ Community
- LGBTQ Bankers