What a wonderful column, and it is inspiring that CIPS is taking some initiative and sponsoring events such as this, directed at the future generation of female IT workers. (“CIPS tackles SOMETHING SOMETHING,” CWC,XX, page XX.)
I agree that the source of the IT gender gap is a tough thing to nail down. I believe it has many different sources, some of those being:
– The personality differences between males and females. It has been proven that women are more social than men. We have to educate women that IT is not the anti-social career choice it has been stereotyped to be.
– Major corporations have to reassess their marketing of products and services. Most major ad campaigns I have seen promote to men in the industry. There are very few that actually promote to women, or even include them in their advertising.
– We have to start promoting technology to females at school at a younger age. It seems that most parents and educators direct females towards traditional roles and not into the areas of science and technology.
– Senior IT managers must lose the paradigm that women are not technically adept. This not only causes a problem for women trying to obtain employment but also causes junior employees to be immersed in an environment that does not give them the opportunity to work in a multi-gendered environment.
– Companies have to look towards initiatives to make the IT environment more family orientated as women look upon IT as an all-or-nothing career choice. IT is looked upon as you either have the career or family, but not both. Incentives like flex time, working from home, etc., would help alleviate the problems of juggling home and family for both men and women.
As you can see I too have been researching this issue, and I feel that If the above issues were addressed more women would look upon IT as a very positive career choice.
Thank-you for a wonderful column.