IT Work in European Organizations

IT Work in European Organizations

Juliet Webster (Work & Equality Research, UK)
Copyright: © 2006 |Pages: 6
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch132
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Employment in IT professions has increased greatly in recent years. Aside from the crisis of the crash in 2001, there has been significant growth in hardware manufacturing and particularly in software and IT services. In the European Union, employment in computer services doubled between 1997 and 2001, and grew by 10% in 1998 alone. This pattern has not been matched by a parallel increase in women’s participation in IT work. Women’s employment in IT has remained resolutely around an average of 28% across the EU; in the professional areas of IT work (as opposed to clerical and other non-professional occupations), women made up only 17% in 2001 and their representation is in fact declining (Millar, 2001; Millar & Jagger, 2001; Webster & Valenduc, 2003). It is an issue of some concern to policy makers, employers, and indeed gender equality practitioners that, despite more than 20 years of attempts to attract women into this comparatively well paid and privileged area of the labour market, women remain such a small and, worse, apparently declining, proportion of IT professionals. Why are women still so poorly represented in IT professions in the EU? What is the nature of working life in IT and what are the working conditions like? Why have more than 20 years of initiatives to get more women into technology professions had so little apparent impact?

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