Title

Women in Information Technology

Document Type

Book Chapter

Publication Date

2004

Abstract

IT managers must recruit and retain a skilled and diverse workforce in order to meet the needs of today’s and tomorrow’s increasingly globalized enterprises. The pipeline for women in IT starts small and shrinks as women are disaffected from the profession at all levels of school and career. This chapter surveys the literature concerning the dearth of women and categorizes this literature along dimensions of methodology, variables, and groups studied. Numerous suggestions and guidelines for improving women’s representation have been offered. Recurring themes include lack of self-confidence, lack of pre-college preparation, the need for mentors and role models, the importance of community groups, and the need to value both family and work priorities. Few studies have empirically tested these recommendations, and much work remains to be done in order to understand and address the real issues. Solutions to recruiting and retaining women may serve other under-represented groups as well, making IT classrooms and IT workplaces more congenial and ultimately more productive environments for everyone.