Is There a Retention Gap for Women and Minorities? The Case for Moving In Versus Moving Up

Is There a Retention Gap for Women and Minorities? The Case for Moving In Versus Moving Up

Andrea H. Tapia (Pennsylvania State University, USA), Lynette Kvasny (The Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Eileen M. Trauth (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: © 2004 |Pages: 22
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-128-5.ch007
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Abstract

This chapter will examine the “retention gap” between the goals of gender and racial diversity and the workplace/management behaviors that affect retention of individuals in those groups. Women, as well as African Americans, Hispanic Americans, and Native Americans, are represented in the information technology (IT) workforce in percentages that are far lower than their percentages in the population as a whole. These populations are also under-represented in the educational programs that prepare people for careers as IT workers. While recruiting efforts are crucial for increasing the participation of women and minorities, it is equally important that we retain those already in the IT workforce. It is clear that nothing is gained by bringing women and minorities into the workforce to simply have them drop out or be weeded out. There is a need to deepen our understanding of retention issues for women and minorities in order to inform intervention strategies. This chapter addresses this need by providing an in-depth examination of factors affecting attraction, development, and especially retention of minorities and women in IS.

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