Discrimination and Hostility Toward Women and Minorities in the IT Work Force

Discrimination and Hostility Toward Women and Minorities in the IT Work Force

Peter Hoonakker (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA), Pascale Carayon (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA) and Jen Schoepke (University of Wisconsin-Madison, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 9
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch033
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There is substantial evidence for a critical shortage of skilled IT workers in the United States (Freeman & Aspray, 1999; ITAA, 2002). From 2000 to 2010, the occupation of computer specialists is projected to grow 69%, and the occupation of computer and information systems managers is projected to grow 48% (Hecker, 2001). Although demand for IT workers dropped in recent years (5% alone in 2001, ITAA, 2002), there is still a lack of qualified workers, referred to as the “gap” in IT workers. A large subset of this problem is the under representation of women and minorities in the IT workforce. It is possible that if women and minorities were represented in the IT workforce (ITWF) in proportion with their representation in the general population, the shortage of IT workers in the U.S. could be solved (CAWMSET, 2000; Freeman & Aspray, 1999). Some preliminary work has been done to identify barriers to the entrance and retention of women and underrepresented minorities in the ITWF (CAWMSET, 2000; ITAA, 2000), such as lack of role models and mentors, exclusion from informal networks, stereotyping and discrimination, an inhospitable atmosphere towards women, unequal pay scales and inadequate work/family balance (CAWMSET, 2000; ITAA, 2000; Panteli, Stack, Atkinson, & Ramsay, 1999).

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