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Making Information Technology Attractive to Women

Essay by   •  April 22, 2016  •  Research Paper  •  835 Words (4 Pages)  •  1,022 Views

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Introduction

The purpose of this paper is to address the genuine lack of women in Information Technology careers. Women tend to view careers in IT as solitary and male dominated and tend to steer clear of pursuing technology degrees or employment. (Fidelman, M., Jun 5, 2012)

Managers and administrators need to not only hire more women in IT positions but also need to promote women to superior roles within IT departments. (Fidelman, M., Jun 5, 2012) When viewing the disparity between men and women in technology, it is most evident in the upper managerial levels. (Fidelman, M., Jun 5, 2012) While there are more women in the lower levels of information technology jobs, these women are not advancing to the higher levels within this field. (Fidelman, M., Jun 5, 2012) The reasons for this disparity need to be researched and corrected if women are to be a driving force within the IT community.

Information Technology Is Not Just For Men

“In the past, technology jobs were viewed by women as populated by men in basements, working alone, as an organ of the computer.” (Fidelman, M., Jun 5, 2012) This is a perception that needs to change in order for women to choose technology as a field they want to pursue. “Using gender as the foundation for selecting careers is not advised in the area of technology and computer science. The biggest difference in capabilities between genders is normally physical size and strength; neither of which is important for mastery of computer science or technology.” (Harris, Will., p.23) Since technology takes out the differences in physicality out of the equation, there is no real reason for the lack of women in computer jobs. Women are just as capable as men when it comes to computer science and because of this, they should be supported and advocated for entering this male-dominated field. (Harris, Will., April 2015)

Making Information Technology Attractive to Women

“Women represent at least half of the potential workforce, yet only 25 % of all employed computer specialists are women, and women represent only 14 % of network and computer systems administrators.” (Panko 2008) Gender roles may play a part in why women feel less inclined to pursue IT careers. (Leach & Turner, 2015) IT has a culture that is viewed as being male-dominated which can intimidate women. “In particular, they portray computing-culture as originally gender neutral or even woman-friendly, but as increasingly subject to “hacker” or “geek” stereotypes since the 1980s.These have subsequently discouraged women’s participation in computing and led to “leaky pipeline” effects, as women enter, and subsequently leave, the field.” (Leach & Turner, 2015, p. 2). “Finding an organization with a family-friendly culture may be a more important driver of women’s commitment to the IT profession than men’s commitment to the field.” (Major, D. A., Morganson, V. J., & Bolen, H. M. pg. 310) Attracting women to the IT field will require discerning what is important to women in the workforce and how to implement policies that appeal to women.

IT Needs Women In Management

“While some of the problems are that women aren’t encouraged to pursue technology jobs, they also face roadblocks to advancement.” (Fidelman, M., Jun 5, 2012) “In the U.S., men earn on average 24.1 percent higher base pay than women in Glassdoor salaries. That amounts to women

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