No shortage of ink has been spilled on the challenges faced by women in today’s IT workforce.

Many business leaders and cor-porate boards are taking steps to improve C-suite diversity; yet, too often, women continue to be un-derrepresented in technology leadership positions and the technology workforce in general.

Despite numerous challenges, many highly com-petent and qualified women have risen through the ranks and smashed IT’s glass ceiling. In fact, the percentage of women technology chiefs is far higher than that of female CEOs and CFOs, according to multiple analyses – perhaps because technology teams can benefit from women’s unique combina-tion of leadership skills, such as empathy, flexibility, persuasiveness, assertiveness, and risk-taking.

This special edition of the CIO Program’s CIO Insider, the first in a series focused on gender diver-sity and inclusion in IT, shares insights from women who have risen to the top of the IT profession, including their perspectives on essential leadership qualities and guidelines for cultivating diverse and inclusive IT cultures.