Five Perspectives on Women and Men in the IT Workforce
Mark Wardell (The Pennsylvania State University, USA), Steve Sawyer (The Pennsylvania State University, USA), Jessica Mitory (The Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Sara Reagor (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006
The opportunities in a variety of information technology (IT) occupations, such as software engineer, systems analyst and consultant, combined with increased employer interest (and need) for workers whose essential skill is knowledge and not brawn, intimate that IT is a “level playing field.” That is, simply possessing IT-related skills might mean that a worker’s gender would not be a discriminating characteristic for job-related outcomes in IT work. The perception of high-paying and gender-neutral work should encourage women to enter IT fields. This should be magnified by the increases in resources (public and private) designed to enable women to acquire IT-related skills. For example, early introduction programs, such as the Girl Scout’s STEM program, encourage entry into IT work through newsletters, career information and mentoring opportunities for young girls in the subjects of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (Girl Scouts of America, 2004).