Making Executive Mentoring Work in IT

Making Executive Mentoring Work in IT

Shari Lawrence Pfleeger (RAND Corporation, USA) and Norma T. Mertz (University of Tennessee, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 7
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch135
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Although it is a relatively young discipline, information technology has a lack of gender diversity that is similar to many older sciences. For example, the 33rd annual Taulbee survey of computer science graduates indicates only 20% of those enrolling in computer science doctoral programs are women, and only 16.8% of those receive PhDs; these rates have been the same for the last few years (Zweben & Aspray, 2004). Moreover, once women move into computing careers, they can have a difficult time moving up the career ladder. For example, women’s advancement in academia has been disappointing: 19% of the computer science faculty in the United States are female, but only 8.6% of full professors and 12.3% of associate professors are women (Zweben & Aspray). Similar figures are reported for women in industry as they hit the glass ceiling (Morrison, White, & van Velsor, 1987), but women in some countries may be catching up. For example, “pay and prospects for women in IT are the best they have ever been” in the United Kingdom: They achieved higher pay increases than men across all sectors for the 8th year running, but are still behind (Mortleman, 2004). Thus, there is still room for women at the top. According to Corporate Women Directors International (2004), “The glass ceiling in corporate directorships is solidly in place.” Indeed, only 7.5% of Fortune Global 200 boards have three or more women serving on them. Similarly, a recent survey sponsored by the UK Department of Trade and Industry and Shell revealed that a third of the boards of British companies still have no females (Cranfield School of Management, 2004).

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