Women made up 16% of the 2016 CIO 100, the highest proportion since its reboot in 2012 but still below the percentage of women working in the technology and IT sector in the UK.

The 2015 edition of the CIO 100 saw women make up 13% of the UK's leading technology and business executives. In 2014 only 7% of the CIO 100 were female, while the figures in 2012 and 2013 were both just 5%.

Last year recruitment firm Harvey Nash and research and analyst firm Gartner both reported decreases in the number of CIOs who were female. The 2015 Harvey Nash CIO Survey revealed the number of women working in IT leadership roles was just 8%, lower than 2013 figure of 9%, with the UK even less diverse with a figure below the global average.

At the highest levels barely 6% of those with a CIO, CTO or SVP job title were women, again below the 2013 figure of 8%, according to the Harvey Nash study of 3,691 technology leaders.

Last year Gartner reported a global average of 13.6% - a number which it said had remained static for around a decade. The research firm's calculations were incorrect, however, with Gartner reporting the number of female CIOs in its survey (337) as a percentage of the number of men (2,473) rather than as a percentage of the total (2,810), which works out as 12.0%.

While the 16% is more than previous years, it could be lower than the industry average for technology workers with the Tech Partnership reporting in March 2015 that 17% of technology professionals were female.

Furthermore, figures released by UCAS at the start of 2016 suggest that the technology sector is still missing out on attracting a diverse range of talent at the start of the funnel. The percentage of women studying computer science has actually dropped from 2009 (13.2%) to a 2015 figure of 13.1%. There was some silver lining in the number of women studying software engineering, a subject itself becoming more a more popular area of study at tertiary education level, with women making up 10.1% of the graduate intake in 2015 compared to just 8.5% in 2009.

Speaking following the announcement of the 2015 CIO 100, judge Jayne Nickalls said: "While it is good to see an increase in the percentage of women in the CIO 100, the figure is still woefully low and reflects the problems with recruiting women into technology and IT roles - along with the lower percentage of women the higher up you go.

"The industry is missing out due to this; we have hardly made any progress over the last 30 years and may have even gone backwards."

Fellow judge and columnist Ian Cox said about the 2015 CIO 100: "The increase in the number of female CIOs in the CIO 100 is to be welcomed, but women are still under-represented in the IT profession generally and at senior levels in particular.

"This is an ongoing challenge for IT and is something that needs to be addressed in a consistent and sustainable way. Until the overall ratio improves it is hard to see how the proportion of women in technology leadership roles is going to change significantly."

Cox suggested that the changing business landscape could benefit a new style of CIO leadership which might in turn lead to balancing the gender ratio in the technology sector.

"Organisations are beginning to look for a different type of CIO with different skills and experience and a different way of working to the traditional CIO of the last 20-30 years," he explained.

"Increasingly organisations want their CIOs to also have non-IT experience, business and commercial skills, to be good at influencing and collaborating and to have strong communication and networking skills. This shift to a broader skill set could help change the proportion of female CIOs further."