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Gender

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Title: Gender


1
Gender Information Technology Issues Theories
  • Prof. Eileen M. Trauth, PhD
  • Faculty of Information Sciences and Technology
    (Informatik)
  • Associate Dean
  • The Pennsylvania State University
  • etrauth_at_ist.psu.edu

2
Course Introduction
  • What subject do you study?
  • What work will you do?
  • Why do you take this course?
  • One important question about gender and technik?

3
Course Format
  • Lecture
  • Reading assignments
  • Questions
  • Email, after class, Stephen
  • Exam

4
Course Goals
  • Gender imbalance in information economy
  • Under representation of females
  • Over representation of males
  • Why should we care?

5
The Information Economy
Information Society
Information Economy
Primary Information Sector - Producers
Secondary Information Sector Consumers
HW, SW, systems/services Content IT people
6
Course Goals
  • Critical examination of gender theories to
    understand observations about gender IT
    imbalance
  • Using gender theories for critical examination of
    gender issues related to technik
  • Recommendations to address issues

7
Evolution of Information Society
  • 1950s computer
  • 1960s Marshal McLuhan, medium is the
  • message, information
  • 1970s Daniel Bell, post-industrial society,
  • information economy
  • 1980s ICT, end user computing
  • 1990s WWW, Internet, National Information
  • Infrastructure
  • 2000s globalization, e-society, e-inclusion

8
Information Society in Austria Bundespressedienst
Vienna, 2005
  • … the rapid increase in use of information and
    communication technologies (ICT) for collecting,
    communicating, disseminating and exploiting
    information
  • By 2015 about four fifths of all human work will
    consist of handling information…

9
Information Society in Austria 7 Key Themes
  • 1 Preventing digital division (e-inclusion)
  • 2 Infrastructure
  • 3 Modern, service-oriented public
  • administration
  • 4 More competitive SMEs through ICT
  • 5 ICT literacy
  • 6 Security of ICT applications
  • 7 High quality Austrian e-content

10
Information Society in Austria Gender
e-Inclusion
  • eEurope Action Plan 2005 focuses above all on
    users, male and female. At all levels and for all
    activities full social participation is
    paramount…

11
Information Society in Austria Gender
e-Inclusion
  • Opportunities to participate may vary from
    person to person because of socioeconomic
    (income, ancestry, education) and sociocultural
    (gender) barriers.

12
Information Society in Austria Gender
e-Inclusion
  • For various reasons women are under represented
    both in research and development and also in
    founding new companies concerned with the
    application of the new ICT technologies.
  • 63 of men and 50 of women over 14 years are
    online (2005)

13
Information Society in Austria Gender
e-Inclusion initiatives
  • EQUAL EU initiative to fight discrimination and
    inequality in the labor market has specific
    programs to support women and ICT
  • Austrian regional initiatives
  • Women ICT in Burgenland, ICT awareness
  • ABZ Vienna, ICT reentry
  • NOWA, Graz womens network
  • IT4HER, Austrian Computer Society, careers in ICT

14
The Gender ICT Problem
  • What is the current problem of gender ICT (in
    research application)?
  • Why should we care
  • (for research application)?

15
The Problem of Gender ICT
  • Women are not minorities in the US population
  • In 2004, women accounted for
  • 59.2 of the population over 16
  • 56 of the labor force (U.S. Bureau of Labor
    Statistics 2005)
  • Female participation increasing in some
    historically male-dominated professions (US)
  • Legal 9.5 female (1971) to 44.4 (1996)

16
The Problem of Gender ICT
  • The representation of women in the IT profession
    is declining (ITAA, 2005, 2003)
  • Women are less likely to return to the IT
    profession after the dot.com bust (ITAA, 2005)

100
59
65
68
75
50
41
35
25
32
0
1996 2002 2004
Year
Men Women
Source (ITAA, 2005 2003)
17
The Gender ICT Problem
  • The Problem for Application
  • Women are under represented with respect to
    information communications technology (ICT)
    design, development application
  • Are women under served with respect to ICT use?

18
The Gender ICT Problem
  • Why should we care?
  • Addressing ICT worker shortages
  • (Gender) diversity innovation
  • (Gender) diversity economic development
  • Diversity of products services
  • Increasing social inclusion social access,
    decreasing digital gap

19
The Gender ICT Problem
  • The Problem for Research
  • Providing the quantitative qualitative data to
    support the gender inequality claims
  • Developing testing theoretically-informed,
    empirically-grounded interventions to equalize
    gender representation in production and
    consumption of ICT

20
The Gender ICT Problem
  • Why we should care
  • Choosing an appropriate theoretical lens for
    critically understanding this data
  • Theory shedding constructive light on the issue
    or reinforcing unproductive negative
    stereotypes?

21
Gendered Technology?
  • Is technology ( ICT) gender neutral?
  • What is needed to overcome the gender imbalance
    in technological areas?

22
Course Content
The dimensions of the gender ICT
problem Gender technology concepts Gender
theories used to understand gender technology
relations Gender theory information
technology Application of gender ICT theory
to critically analyze key issues -
socio-cultural influences on gender - gender
ICT education - gender ICT workforce -
gender, ICT power - gender, ICT work-life
balance
23
Dimensions of the Gender ICT Problem
  • Interviews with 123 women working in the US ICT
    field (2002-2006)
  • Some prevalent gender discourses encountered by
    American women who work in the ICT field
    throughout their personal and professional
    development

24
Gender Discourses
  • Domestic responsibilities
  • Female Career opportunities
  • IT as a masculine profession
  • For each discourse a variety of responses
    were identified, as were influences on the women
    that shed light on this variation

25
Gender Discourse Domestic Responsibilities
Women should sacrifice their careers for domestic
responsibilities discourse varies by sexual
orientation, marital status, parenthood status
Typically, the societal message is that the
family obligations take precedence over the
professional obligation. … I think typically the
societal view is that when the woman has a child
she should stay home and take care of them. The
male would be the financial supporter. Francie
26
Gender Discourse Female Career Opportunity
  • Gendered constraints on careers discourse
    varies by age, race and socio-economic status
  • I had a 4.0 grade point average coming out of
    high school, but I was not directed toward one of
    the mainstream universities. I think there are a
    lot of factors affecting that, race being one of
    them. Joanne
  • My parents both always told me you can be
    anything you want as long as you work hard and
    you are smart. Teri

27
Gender Discourse IT as a Masculine Profession
Suitability of women for the IT profession -
discourse varies by race, local culture It is
hard to fix the perception of IT work because
girls are hearing all kinds of crappy things all
the time. We need someone who can make us see
that IT is not this horrifying ocean of geekdom.
It is not that bad. There are lots of really cool
women in IT. It is not all freaks. That is the
biggest concern of high school girls. Put
yourself in their shoes, what were you like in
high school when you were sixteen? … It is not
cute to be associated with geeks. In my high
school the only people who were into computers
were those creepy guys. There were like two or
three creepy, unwashed, acne-filled guys.
Nobody wanted to have anything to do with them.
Debbie.
28
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Questioning self-evident link between masculinity
    and technology
  • Critical examination needed
  • Traditional conception of technology heavily
    weighted against women
  • Technology as individual machinery (auto)
  • Diminish significance of traditionally female
    technologies
  • Horticulture, cooking, sewing, cleaning, child
    care
  • Reproduce stereotype of female as technologically
    ignorant

29
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Identification of technology with manliness
  • Not inherent in characteristics of biological
    sex?
  • Essentialist arguments that dont hold up to
    deeper scrutiny (procedural knowledge in
    programming cooking sewing)
  • Male scientists substituting for their lack of
    feminine procreative power?
  • The creation of science and weapons compensating
    for inability to give birth to humans
  • Sexual and birth metaphors used

30
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Technological enterprise as masculine realm is
    consistent with male domination of all powerful
    institutions
  • i.e. not something specific to technology that is
    related to biological sex
  • Social (i.e. historical cultural) construction
    of gender and of technology
  • Social construction of technology (SCOT)
  • Social study of technology (SST)
  • Science technology studies (STS)

31
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Masculine obsession with control
  • Early history of computing gender neutral
  • Ada Lovelace programming
  • Grace Hopper programming
  • Modern history of computing masculine
  • Soul of a New Machine minicomputers
  • The Right Stuff test pilots
  • competitive rivalry
  • compulsive dedication to perfect computer
  • no space for life outside of work

32
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Hackers as male culture of mastery
    individualism
  • Addition to mastery rather than programming
  • Metaphors of power domination
  • Masculine sexuality
  • Heroes of the stories always men
  • Excitement of working on newest computer
    expressed in sexual terms
  • 72 hours with girl of your dreams
  • Women absent from the stories

33
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Women at home providing backdrop for men free to
    pursue great projects
  • Social construction of men having the luxury of
    being single minded
  • A Room of Ones Own (Virginia Woolf)
    Shakespeares sister

34
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Does it have to be this way?
  • Are these features (e.g. domination, control,
    obsession) necessarily ones that are inherent in
    the process of technological development?
  • Can women relate to this approach?
  • Do all men relate to this approach?
  • Social construction of gender

35
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Forms of masculinity
  • Different forms of masculinity related to
    different areas of technology
  • Both masculinity and femininity taking on
    culturally and historically diverse forms
  • Ethnicity/race/nationality
  • Culture
  • History
  • Generations

36
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Forms of masculinity
  • Hegemonic masculinity (Vorherrschaft)
  • Culturally dominant forms of masculinity
  • The dominant discourse (media, stereotypes, etc.)
  • Not necessarily how everyone behaves
  • Aggressiveness capacity for violence (Western
    masculinity)
  • Based on physical toughness and mechanical skills
  • Relates to industrial era, working class context
  • Association with manual labor machinery
  • Dirt, noise, danger

37
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Extent to which control of technology is embedded
    in hegemonic masculinity
  • warrior ethic of heroic masculinity
  • Technology military link
  • Context of development application of
    technology
  • Defense support for ICT research development
  • Closeness to physical danger as epitome of manly
    daring
  • (soldier, explorer, adventurer)

38
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Females as unsuitable for the military
    constitutionally disposed toward peace
  • Some feminists reinforcing traditional models of
    masculinity femininity
  • Facts about warfare suggest otherwise
  • Historical role of women in military warfare?

39
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Hegemonic masculinity vs. subordinated or
    marginalized forms of masculinity
  • Examples?
  • Hegemonic masculinity vs. marginalized
    construction of femininity
  • Emotional, weak, less analytical
  • Inferior to men
  • Soft, nurturing
  • Ill-suited to technological pursuits

40
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • As we have seen repeatedly, technology is more
    than a set of physical objects or artifacts. It
    also fundamentally embodies a culture or set of
    social relations made up of certain sorts of
    knowledge, beliefs, desires and practices.
  • Treating technology as a culture has enabled us
    to see the way in which technology is expressive
    of masculinity and how, in turn men
    characteristicaly view themselves in relation to
    these machines. (p. 149)

41
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Technology femininity
  • Formal informal mechanisms that reproduce the
    cultural stereotype of women as technologically
    incapable or invisible
  • Association of technology with physical strength
  • Size of microcomputers
  • The potential of computers to change stereotypes

42
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Computers as reinforcing gender relations in
    technology
  • Societal institutions reinforce masculinity with
    machines and technological competence
  • Schools Link between education and gender
    divisions in the labor market
  • Computers conceptually linked to (gendered) math
    and science
  • The gendered realm of machinery
  • Harassment of females interested in computers

43
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Gendered game software
  • Mass media images of computing with males
  • Public policy anti ( positive) gender
    discrimination legislation
  • Positive effects critical mass
  • Negative effects reinforce qualifications
    stereotype

44
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • The psychological argument sex-based cognitive
    differences (Sherry Turkle)
  • Vs. the cultural argument
  • Males fascination with the machine itself
  • hard masters top down, abstract, rule follower
  • Competitive, impose will on the machine
  • Females only interested in application
  • Soft masters bottom up, concrete, tinkerer
  • Cooperative, interact negotiate with machine
  • Feminist view this difference not equated with
    inferiority

45
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • The psychological argument rebuttal
  • Reminiscent of (now discredited) stereotype of
    women as too emotional, irrational and illogical
    to do mathematics
  • Purely psychological explanations neglect the
    historical and cultural context of computing
    education
  • Previous research on gender and mathematics shows
    girls as rule followers
  • Programming was originally a female pursuit
  • ENIAC girls

46
Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Although studies do find evidence of differences
    between the sexes, the variation within the sexes
    is more important than the differences between
    them (p. 157).

47
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • One of the first papers on gender and science
  • Research conducted in early-mid 1970s
  • Influencing the education of those who are
    currently working in science and technology
  • Gendering of ICT is part of a larger and longer
    pattern of gendering
  • Science is gendered (masculine)
  • Technology adopted pattern of gendering of
    science (masculine)
  • ICT adopting pattern of gendering of technology
  • ICT as masculine

48
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • Shows how long the issue of gender and
    science/technology has been with us
  • Shows how deeply embedded is the gendering of
    science/technology
  • Themes that arose in 1977 that are still here in
    2008

49
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • Bringing to light the hidden support upon which
    science depends (i.e. beyond universities,
    funding agencies, publication outlets)
  • An enlightened view - the role of wife and
    family is important
  • Within this enlightened view male scientists as
    the norm female scientists as the exception

50
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
… the developing of the personality of the young
scientist…the strain of his economic situation..
effects upon his marriage… the increasing
monastic absorption of the man, and the wifes
early fading and gradual loss of vitality and of
confidence in herself as a woman… the lives of
prominent scientists and their wives and
children…demonstrate…the high price paid by these
civilian expendables …
51
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • A substantial proportion of high school women
    have negative images of scientists
  • And therefore indicate that they would not want
    to marry a scientist
  • Do the wives of scientists have different images
    of scientists than other women?
  • Substantial evidence that scientists are strongly
    masculine in their orientation

52
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • Interviews with 14 male scientists and their
    wives
  • 8 wives are scientists
  • 6 wives are not scientists
  • Discussion about the life of a scientists, gender
    stereotypes, differences among the two groups of
    women
  • Motivated by earlier research on moon scientists

53
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • Life as a scientist or scientists spouse
  • Women scientists acknowledge social educational
    barriers to women becoming scientists non
    scientists dont
  • Exclusion from old boys network
  • When women achieve people are surprised
  • National Research Council rejected application
    We dont hire women
  • I dont know of any woman scientists who hasnt
    run into prejudice
  • I wasnt allowed to observe because I was told
    women are too weak to work on the mountain.

54
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • Perceptions about self spouse regarding gender
    stereotypes
  • Scientists as hypermasculine more masculine
    than adult man
  • Scientists, male, female
  • Aggressive
  • Independent
  • Active
  • Objective
  • Competitive
  • Logical
  • Thinks men are always superior to women
  • Scientists tied with men

55
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • Female scientists challenging gender stereotypes
    Female scientists, male scientists, female non
    scientists
  • Logical
  • Ambitious
  • Women are always superior to men

56
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
…women have not flocked to experimental physical
science in increasing numbers as opportunities
for higher education for women have been more
nearly equalized. In other words, it may not be a
social factor lack of opportunity for women in
science but rather a personality factor lack
of interest in physical science among women -
which accounts for the small number of female
physical scientists. (McClelland, 1970)
57
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • Impact of gender on women scientists
  • role conflict
  • affirming traditional male values (objective,
    dispassionate) -scientist
  • affirming traditional female values (emotional
    concern)
  • responsible for emotional life of family
  • twin roles that male scientists didnt face
  • women faced uphill battle for equality in science

58
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • Womens liberation movement
  • Female scientists are more liberal than male
    scientists and female non scientists
  • Female scientists are significantly more
    liberal regarding the womens liberation
    movement

59
On the Shoulders of the Spouses of Scientists
  • Issues from 1977 that exist in 2008
  • explicit discrimination diminished
  • Implicit barriers remain
  • Educational social barriers for women
    scientists/technologists
  • Old boys network
  • When women achieve people are surprised
  • IT field hypermasculinized
  • Structural barriers translated into lack of
    interest

60
Science Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Is the Austrian workplace gendered?
  • Is science technology in Austria gendered?
  • Is ICT (production or consumption) in Austria
    gendered?
  • For each question
  • If yes, evidence
  • If no, evidence

61
Science Technology as Masculine Culture
  • Social construction of masculinity femininity
    in Austria in relation to ICT in the
    post-industrial era?
  • does it need to change?

62
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Theorizing the relationship between gender and
    technology
  • Using a worldview about gender and technology in
    order to understand and explain observations
  • First astronauts were women right stuff but
    wrong sex
  • Nothing natural or inevitable about technology
    identified as masculine, masculinity defined as
    technical competence

63
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • History of gender and technology studies
  • Feminist technology study motivated by critique
    of gender blindness of Marxism
  • Gender is an important factor in organization of
    work resulting from technological change
  • Labor process as much influenced by gender as
    class
  • Marxism ignoring unpaid labor done by women in
    the home
  • Now being recognized as people have to pay for
    it!

64
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Feminist technology study motivated by second
    wave feminism
  • womens liberation movement of 1970s 1980s
  • Developing womens technological capacity
  • Part of consciousness raising
  • Focus on power relations
  • Technology as an application area

65
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Feminist studies of technology
  • How technological developments reproduce gender
    hierarchies
  • Example word processor
  • Vs. How gender relations could be transformed by
    new technology
  • Example administrative assistant
  • Need to pay attention to womens agency vs.
    passive victims of technology
  • Example new jobs opening up as technology
    displaces old ones

66
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Social Construction of Technology (SCOT)
  • Technological artifacts subject to sociological
    analysis
  • Steam powered automobiles
  • Different groups of people can have very
    different understandings of that technology
  • Guns
  • Artifact plus context/culture
  • Mobile phone
  • Feminist theories not incorporated into
    technology theories
  • Technology diffusion

67
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Actor-network theory
  • Technology and society are mutually constitutive
  • i.e. mutually construct each other
  • Examples?
  • User interacts with artifact and can challenge
    and renegotiate meaning and use of artifact
  • Example telephone how?
  • Feminist theories not incorporated into
    technology theories
  • Men set up as norm against which women are
    measured and found wanting

68
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • …In contemporary Western society, hegemonic
    masculinity, the culturally dominant form of
    masculinity, is still strongly associated with
    technical prowess and power.
  • Can we change this?
  • Should we change this?
  • How would we change this?

69
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Feminist Science Technology Society Research
  • Early studies of gender technology theorized
    gender as a fixed and unitary phenomenon, which
    exists independently of technology
  • Sex gender

70
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Poststructuralist feminist scholars gender is
    not fixed in advance of social interaction
  • Gender constructed through interaction
  • Gender as a social construction
  • Sex not gender
  • Gender is performed
  • Gender as doing vs. being

71
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Why
  • Gender identities can change
  • Broader acceptance of gender identities
  • Gender variation by country/culture
  • Examples?
  • Gender identity in virtual space
  • Biological sex can change
  • Transgendered individuals

72
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Conclusion
  • Neither masculinity, femininity nor technology
    are fixed, unitary categories
  • Can contain multiple possibilities and are
    constructed in relation to each other
  • Rejection of technophobia evident in earlier
    feminist writing

73
Theorizing Gender and Technology Reflections on
Gender Technology Studies In What State is the
Art?
  • Conclusion
  • Cyberfeminism technology as a source of
    empowerment for women
  • Most research still focuses on how technology
    shapes gender relations, not how gender relations
    can shape the design of technologies
  • Examples of gender relations shaping technology
    design?

74
Gender ICT Research Under Theorization
  • Pre-theoretical research
  • Compiling statistics on gender differences in
    adoption, use involvement in IT field
  • No gender theory used to inform research
  • No theory used to understand results
  • Theoretical insights about technology diffusion,
    organizational change, etc. not informed
    by gender theory

75
Gender ICT Research Under Theorization
  • Implicit-theoretical research
  • Research interpretations guided by
    theory-in-use
  • Not explicitly articulated
  • Difficult to discuss, challenge, or test
  • Typically a theory of inherent gender differences
  • Essentialist gender-based, inherent
    bio-psychological differences (e.g. technical
    aptitude)
  • Social constructivist gender roles imposed on
    women by society, monolithically (e.g. domestic
    roles)
  • Perpetrating negative stereotypes

76
Gender ICT Research Under Theorization
  • Insufficient-theoretical research
  • Essentialist social construction theories do
    not adequately account for the variation in mens
    and womens relationships to information
    technology and the IT field
  • Need for new theoretical insights to guide
    research and the development of interventions
  • Probing space between the extremes of nature and
    nurture
  • Need for bridge between feminist technology
    theories, and application to IT context

77
Individual Differences Theory of Gender IT
Field testing theoretical claims about
within-gender differences in exposure,
experience, response to gender relations in IT
field A Field Study of Individual Differences in
the Social Shaping of Gender and IT (NSF
2002-2007) Exploration of the Effects of Race,
Ethnicity and Socio-economic Class on Gender
Stereotyping (NSF 2007-2010)
78
Theorizing Gender Differences The Concept of
Difference
  • Difference between men and women
  • Source essentialism or social construction
  • The eternal female
  • Assumptions about womens language, culture,
    personality
  • Psychic, social and cultural separate spheres
    for men women
  • Men have one reality, women have another
  • Criticism categories of women and men seen
    as monolithic and unproblematic

79
Theorizing Gender Differences The Concept of
Difference
  • Difference as experiential diversity
  • Difference within women rather than between men
    and women
  • Reaction to essentialism of male-female
    difference
  • Reaction to earlier feminist claims to equally
    represent all women, to speak with one voice
  • Recognition of diverse social experiences
  • Race gender
  • Examples?
  • Class gender
  • Examples?

80
Theorizing Gender Differences The Concept of
Difference
  • Other types of difference being acknowledged as
    affecting gender
  • Nation
  • Region ethnicity
  • Age
  • Sexual orientation
  • Disability
  • Religion
  • Examples???

81
Theorizing Gender Differences Feminist
Standpoint Theory
  • We should trust the perspective of the subjugated
    or marginalized person
  • i.e. women should tell the story of womens
    oppression
  • Situated knowledge
  • Embodied knowledge
  • Therefore, privilege the viewpoint of the
    oppressed
  • Agree?????

82
Theorizing Gender Differences Individual
Differences Theory of Gender IT (Trauth)
  • Theoretical guidance for conducting
    within-gender
  • research
  • Addresses challenges to other theoretical
  • assumptions
  • Focus on differences within rather than between
  • genders
  • Examines group issues at individual level of
  • analysis

83
Theorizing Gender Differences Individual
Differences Theory of Gender IT
  • Challenging assumptions
  • Essentialist theory inherent (bio/psychological)
  • differences between men and women explain
  • the participation level of women in IT
  • Rebuttal successful female IT professionals
  • in a range of countries

84
Theorizing Gender Differences Individual
Differences Theory of Gender IT
  • Challenging assumptions
  • Social construction theory the social shaping of
    technology as a male domain explains the
    participation level of women in IT
  • Rebuttal varying definitions of masculine and
    feminine domains by individuals and
    socio-cultural context
  • - when/where is programming womens work?

85
Theorizing Gender Differences IT
  • Essentialism
  • Sex-based biological/psychological determinants
  • Focus on between-gender differences
  • Social Constructionism
  • Societal determinants
  • Focus on between-gender differences
  • Individual Differences Theory of Gender IT
  • Individual biological/psychological influences
  • Individual societal influences
  • Focus on within-gender not between-gender
    differences

86
Theorizing Gender Differences Individual
Differences Theory of Gender IT
  • The participation level of women in IT can best
    be explained by the interaction of
  • the gender shaping of IT in a particular
    (socio- cultural) context
  • selective (societal institutional)
    reinforcement of
  • individual IT inclinations (interest and
    capability)
  • the influence of significant others in a
    womans life/career
  • individual responses to generalized societal
  • influences

87
Theorizing Gender Differences Individual
Differences Theory of Gender IT
  • Data Collection Analysis
  • Identify characteristics of successful women in
  • a range of IT occupations
  • Track variation in definition of male/female
  • competencies, mens work, womens work
  • Deepen understanding of environmental
  • influences on female participation in IT

88
Individual Differences Theoretical Framework
(Trauth, et al., 2004)
89
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • Research questions
  • Do economic cultural context factors influence
    the experience of women in the IT workforce?
  • How are these factors manifested in the womens
    experience?

90
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • Theoretical frameworks
  • Influence-impact framework
  • Culture
  • Economy
  • Individual differences theory of gender IT
  • Individual identity
  • Individual influences
  • Environmental influences

91
Research Model Influence-Impact Model of
Technology-Society Interaction
Society
Society
Culture
Women in Information Economy
Culture
Economy
Economy
Infrastructure
Infrastructure
Public Policy
Public Policy
Influence
Impact
91
92
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • Methodology
  • Analysis of 92 transcripts of life history
    interviews with women in US IT labor force
  • Data items examined
  • Economy
  • Size of IT sector
  • Cost of living
  • Regional importance of IT

93
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • Culture
  • Migration patterns
  • Attitudes about women
  • Attitudes about women working
  • Attitudes about women working in IT

94
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • Massachusetts economy
  • Size of IT sector dominant
  • Cost of living high
  • Regional importance of IT mature, IT employment
    viable for women

95
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • Massachusetts culture
  • Attitudes about women perception of
    inclusiveness
  • Attitudes about women working acceptable
  • Attitudes about women working in IT inconsistent

96
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • North Carolina economy
  • Size of IT sector dominant
  • Cost of living average
  • Regional importance of IT maturing

97
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • North Carolina culture
  • Migration patterns in migration of people and
    values
  • Attitudes about women Old South v. New South
  • Attitudes about women working traditionally not
    acceptable
  • Attitudes about women working in IT workplace
    tensions

98
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • Pennsylvania economy
  • Size of IT sector not dominant
  • Cost of living low
  • Regional importance of IT emerging

99
Environmental Influences on Gender in the IT
Workforce
  • Pennsylvania culture
  • Attitudes about women rural work ethic
  • Attitudes about women working men as primary
    breadwinner
  • Attitudes about women working in IT overall
    skill shortage, gender hostility

100
Environmental Context
  • Investigating the role of environmental context
    in the experiences of women in the IT workforce
  • Influence of cultural economic factors
  • demonstrates the interaction between gender and
    environmental context
  • Supports theoretical claims of variation among
    women in context

101
Feminist Theories applied to IT Field Using the
Lenses of Feminist Theories to Focus on Women
Technology
  • Liberal feminism
  • Socialist feminism
  • Feminist standpoint theory
  • Ecofeminism
  • Existentialist feminism
  • Psychoanalytic feminism
  • Radical feminism
  • Postmodern feminism
  • Postcolonial feminism
  • Cyberfeminism

102
Feminist Theories applied to IT Field Liberal
Feminism
  • Theory
  • Removing barriers to equal access in historically
    male jobs
  • Focus on humans as individuals removing
    discrimination
  • Aligned with capitalism
  • Application
  • Womens involvement removes bias in technology
    research/design
  • Ergonomics air bag
  • Male domination doesnt address issues relevant
    to women users
  • Domestic technologies

103
Feminist Theories applied to IT Field Socialist
Feminism
  • Theory
  • Focus on societal factors shaping both gender and
    class regarding technology
  • Aligned with Marxism
  • Class relations Marxism
  • Gender relations patriarchy
  • Application
  • Military influence on IT field
  • Technologies favoring wealthy men not poor women

104
Feminist Theories applied to IT Field Feminist
Standpoint Theory
  • Theory
  • Give value to (privileging) the situated
    knowledge of marginalized individuals
  • Focus on the lived knowledge of women
  • Acknowledges the varied experiences of woman due
    to race, social class, etc.
  • Black feminist standpoint theory
  • Racism, classism, patriarchy
  • Emphasizes emancipation
  • Application
  • Focus on variation in users and designers of
    technology
  • For more varied viewpoints on design use

105
Feminist Theories applied to IT
Field Eco-feminism
  • Theory
  • A type of essentialist feminism
  • All women men are united by their biology
  • Spatial verbal abilities
  • Aggression
  • Application
  • Men, as aggressors, develop technology to
    dominate, control exploit natural world
  • Women, as birth givers, more aligned with nature
    all life
  • Women design different types of technology use
    technology differently

106
Feminist Theories applied to IT
Field Existentialist Feminism
  • Theory
  • The issue is the value that society assigns to
    biological differences between males females
  • Female characteristics having less value
  • The male norm
  • Conceptualizing woman as the other the not
    man
  • Application
  • Gender stratification of work
  • Men in better paying jobs

107
Feminist Theories applied to IT
Field Psychoanalytic Feminism
  • Theory
  • Essentialist theory
  • Because males cannot control nature through
    giving birth they need to dominate
  • Because females can give birth they are oriented
    toward nurturing
  • Application
  • Science technology developing as objective,
    rational, distant observer
  • Devaluing subjective, emotional, participant
    scientist or technologist

108
Feminist Theories applied to IT Field Radical
Feminism
  • Theory
  • Womens oppression is the first, most widespread
    deepest oppression there is
  • All people live with and experience gender
  • Consciousness raising needed to evaluate
    patriarchal knowledge
  • Queer transgender theories question links
    between sex, gender sexual orientation
  • Privileging certain gender identities
  • Application
  • Reject mainstream scientific theories, data
    experiments because they are not women-centered
  • Would give users same status as designers of
    technology

109
Feminist Theories applied to IT Field Postmodern
Feminism
  • Theory
  • Reject women speaking in a unified voice or can
    be universally addressed
  • Rejection of universal woman
  • because of womens national, class and cultural
    identities the concept of woman can no longer
    be regarded as smooth, uniform and homogenous
  • Application
  • Look at gender other characteristics in
    assessing needs

110
Feminist Theories applied to IT
Field Postcolonial Feminism
  • Theory
  • Neocolonialism continuing western influence
    after end of colonialism economic, political,
    ideological and military
  • Reject view that culture, science technology of
    former colonizing country remains superior to
    that of the colony or postcolonial country
  • Patriarchy dominating in same way as
    neocolonialism
  • Application
  • Offshore outsourcing as new colonialism?
  • Cheap labor
  • Rejection of forcing developing countries to
    become technologically and scientifically
    literate in order to join global economy

111
Feminist Theories applied to IT
Field Cyberfeminism
  • Theory
  • Fuses technology and gender
  • IT the Internet provide ways to liberate or
    oppress women
  • Application
  • New work opportunities for women from IT
  • Critique of IT revolution reinforcing existing
    power relations along gender, race class lines
  • IT recreated as not for women

112
Theorizing Gender IT
  • Presence/absence of theory
  • Pre-theoretical
  • Compile statistics on gender differences
  • No gender theory to guide understanding of data
  • Cannot easily build upon results
  • Implicit-theoretical
  • Unstated theory used to guide understanding of
    data is not explicitly stated
  • Cannot easily challenge results
  • Insufficient-theoretical
  • Need for gender theories specifically applied to
    IT

113
Theorizing Gender IT
  • Feminist theories applied to IT
  • Essentialist
  • Ecofeminism
  • Existentialist feminism
  • Psychoanalytic feminism
  • Radical feminism
  • Social constructivist
  • Socialist feminism
  • Postcolonial feminism
  • Cyberfeminism
  • Individualist
  • Liberal feminism
  • Feminist standpoint theory
  • Postmodern feminism

114
Theorizing Gender IT
  • How theory influences the data collection and
    interpretation of results
  • Essentialism
  • Inherent sex-based biological/psychological
    determinants
  • Focus on between-gender differences
  • Both feminist and anti-feminist theories
  • Interventions assume separate gender spheres
  • Social Constructionism
  • Societal determinants of gender relations
  • Focus on socially-constructed between-gender
    differences
  • Interventions applied at societal level

115
Theorizing Gender IT
  • Individual Differences Theory of Gender IT
  • Individual biological/psychological traits
    affecting technological capability, interest,
    etc.
  • Individual societal influences on
  • Exposure to gendered IT
  • Experience of gendered IT
  • Response to gendered IT
  • Focus on within-gender not between-gender
    differences
  • Interventions at individual, family and societal
    levels

116
Feminist Theories of ICT Conclusion
  • Both feminist and anti-feminist theoretical
    approaches to gender ICT
  • Essentialist
  • Social constructivist
  • Individualist
  • Range of feminist theoretical viewpoints on
    nature vs. nurture

117
Theories of Gender ICT
  • Develop one scenario about a male and one
    scenario about a female in which the persons
    relationship ICT (/or IT profession) resulted
    from
  • Individual identify factors
  • Individual influence factors
  • Environmental factors

118
Gender IT Issues
  • IT Education
  • Recruitment into IT profession
  • Retention in IT profession
  • Power inequality
  • Social capital
  • Individual agency
  • Work-life balance

119
Gender IT Education Gender Differences
Computing Students Assessment of Societal
Influences
  • 1985 Survey about gender stereotypes applied to
    the new area of computing
  • Based upon research findings about gender and
    mathematics
  • Both males and females surveyed
  • Data on mathematics computing grade
    distributions by gender

120
Gender Differences Computing
  • Early findings about gender computing (1983)
  • Interest in computing follows traditional gender
    differences found in mathematics
  • The public stereotype about computers projects
    images of science, mathematics, engineering and
    other make-dominated professions.

121
Gender Differences Computing
  • Context high achieving, socio-economic, college
    preparatory, high school students enrolled in
    mathematics course
  • Most not enrolled in a computing course
  • Findings influence of 4 societal factors on
    participation with IT by gender male/female
    responses to them
  • IT is a male domain
  • The influence of significant others
  • Negative attitudes associated with computing
  • Career aspirations

122
Gender Differences Computing
  • IT is a male domain
  • Believe media portrays IT as male activity
  • Rejected view that working with IT is masculine
    activity
  • females rejected the gender stereotype stronger
    than males
  • Males enjoy computers more than females
  • females reject males neutral

123
Gender Differences Computing
  • Influence of significant others
  • Perception that parents, teachers, guidance
    counselors and peers have lower expectations of
    girls - expect girls to perform worse than boys
    in computing
  • Peer influence
  • Both reject hacker (nerd) image
  • Males projected negative hacker reaction onto
    females
  • Males agreed more with peer influence than
    females

124
Gender Differences Computing
  • Role models
  • Not conscious of influence of teachers guidance
    counselors
  • No influence?
  • No recognition of influence (yet)?
  • (Naïve) Rejection of gender differences in
    counseling?
  • Subconscious influences?
  • Rejecting stereotype of IT as masculine domain
  • Large of female mathematics teachers
  • Female computing teacher
  • Female computing club advisor

125
Gender Differences Computing
  • Negative stereotypes
  • About gendered behaviors associated with
    computers
  • Females are less logical than males
  • females - rejected males - neutral
  • Females less aggressive than males
  • gaining equal access to limited computing
    resources
  • females - rejected males - neutral
  • Females are more afraid of computers than males
  • Both reject females rejecting significantly more
  • Females people-oriented males thing-oriented
  • Both neutral

126
Gender Differences Computing
  • Career aspirations
  • For which computing is viewed as relevant
  • Career orientation
  • Relevance of IT literacy to intended career
  • Females being career-oriented
  • Females strongly yes males neutral
  • Importance of IT literacy in any career
  • All agreed

127
Gender Differences Computing
  • Conclusion
  • Both male and female students rejected gender
    stereotypes
  • Female students more adamant in their rejection
    of gender stereotypes than males
  • Female students more sensitive to the issue
    (males more neutral)?
  • Understanding neutral responses
  • Influence of societal context
  • Information economy region (Boston)
  • Professional class (educated)
  • Role models of women as math/computing educators
  • Role models of mothers working in IT

128
Gender IT Education Gender, Achievement,
Persistence in an Undergraduate Computer Science
Program
  • Context Gender influences for university level
    computer science (informatics) students
  • Survey of computer science students before and
    after completion of 3 core computer science
    courses
  • Over three semesters
  • 200 students (35 females 165 males)
  • Factors that predict achievement retention in
    computer science degree

129
Gender, Achievement, Persistence in an
Undergraduate Computer Science Program
  • Are there gender differences in the factors that
    predict achievement and retention?
  • Are there gender differences in the reasons that
    good students give for staying in or leaving the
    program?

130
Gender, Achievement, Persistence in an
Undergraduate Computer Science Program
  • Retention findings
  • Males had higher retention overall
  • 60 of males vs. 43 of females
  • No gender differences in retention for poor
    students (earning less than a C i.e. below
    average)
  • Female students who earned less than a B (i.e.
    above average or very good) were less likely
    to stay in the program than were men

131
Gender, Achievement, Persistence in an
Undergraduate Computer Science Program
  • Reasons for gender differences in retention
  • Do females believe they can only succeed if they
    are significantly above average?
  • Do females believe they have to prove
    themselves more in university?
  • Are women students more cautious about pursuing a
    course of study that society tells them they
    might not be well suited for?
  • Do less than superior marks reinforce their
    perception that they dont belong?

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