Gender Identity, the Culture of Organizations, and Women's IT Careers

Gender Identity, the Culture of Organizations, and Women's IT Careers

Wendy R. Caroll (Acadia University, Canada) and Albert J. Mills (Saint Mary’s University, Canada)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch094
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Abstract

The decreasing number of women in information technology (IT) programs and careers has received increasing attention over the last decade (Arnold & Niederman, 2001; Camp, 1997; Cukier, Shortt, & Devine, 2002; Klawe & Leveson, 1995; Niederman & Mandviwalla, 2004). The proliferation of technology innovations over the last 20 years has made the computer less of a mystery to the general public and placed it in a more prominent place in both the office and home. The integration of networks and the placement of the personal computer as a new artifact in society has signaled both cultural as well as technological changes for the future (Woodfield, 2000). However, bigger transformations are yet to emerge. The future efforts of technology will focus on areas such as artificial intelligence, robotics, and bio-technology and implications are significant. Yet, despite these major changes, organizational cultures across businesses appear to have retained their masculine bias or feel. If the current trend of under representation of women in the IT field continues (Camp, 1997; Klawe & Leveson, 1995; MacInnis & Khanna, 2005), these future developments will be without the influence of women, and IT will become entrenched in the public psyche as a masculine pursuit (Woodfield, 2000). The purpose of this article is to present an overview of organizational culture and its influence on gendering identities. Further, an exploration of the evolution of organizational culture within the IT discipline will be offered to assist with our understanding of why fewer women are pursuing IT careers.

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