A Reflexative Analysis of Questions for Women Entering the IT Workforce

A Reflexative Analysis of Questions for Women Entering the IT Workforce

Valerie Pegher (Booz Allen Hamilton Inc., USA), Jeria L. Quesenberry (The Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Eileen M. Trauth (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch169
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Abstract

There are many resources available for young college graduates entering the workforce. Colleges and universities have entire departments and buildings dedicated to the process of moving students into the “real world.” Questions such as “what should my salary be?” “which firm is rated the best in the country?” and “how do I fit into the corporate environment?” are typically asked by both male and female students and are answered by the staff. Yet given that business is generally a male dominated field, questions such as “have you encountered a glass ceiling in your career?” are less likely to be answered with the whole truth. Hence, this article seeks to answer some of the questions that women may have upon entering the information technology (IT) workforce. As a woman who is graduating from college and preparing to enter the IT workforce, I1 constantly ask myself questions about what it means to be a minority in a male dominated industry. In order to be prepared for my future career, I synthesized my questions into three central issues of coping strategies, social networking and gender identity: 1. Coping Strategies: How do women cope with being minority, and what do women do when treated unfairly because of their gender? 2. Social Networking: When should social networking begin, and how does a woman form a personal network? 3. Gender Identity: Do women have to display more masculine traits to get ahead in the IT workforce, and does business attire matter? These questions are of importance because they are typical of the kinds of questions that a woman entering the IT field may have. Hence, the purpose of this article is to address these questions through a reflexive analysis in order to better prepare myself and others for careers in the IT workforce.2

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