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Celebrating heterogeneity? A survey of female ICT professionals in England

Griffiths, M, Moore, K and Richardson, H 2007, 'Celebrating heterogeneity? A survey of female ICT professionals in England' , Information, Communication & Society, 10 (3) , pp. 338-357.

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Abstract

This paper introduces key findings from a large-scale, online survey of women in the ICT industry across England undertaken between October 2004 and October 2005. Placed in a theoretical framework which draws on critical perspectives from within information systems (IS), and the sociology of gender and of technology, we examine some of the issues faced by female ICT professionals. The context for this paper is the ongoing under-representation of women in the ICT industry in England, and the difficulties that the industry is having retaining women, particularly at senior levels. We present data on the demographic composition of women in the ICT industry in England. In addition we focus on their management of domestic and caring responsibilities, including changes in working practices they have experienced as a result of these responsibilities. This data is particularly pertinent given current government and industry debates about ‘work-life balance’ and ‘flexible working’ in the ICT industry, partially as a response to the need for a more diverse ICT workforce. Alongside information on the career histories of female ICT professionals, we review their perceptions of pay and reward packages, working environments, the skills they hold, and the recognition they may or may not receive in their current posts. We present reports of a ‘long-hours’ and ‘presenteeism’ culture in the ICT industry, and the existence of gendered informal networks in ICT. We also examine female ICT professionals’ perceptions of the current and future-possible image of the industry. Our findings highlight the continued masculinisation of ICT work, and some of the difficulties faced by women working in what remain statistically and symbolically male-dominated environments. Key words: Female ICT professionals, heterogeneity, masculinised domain

Item Type: Article
Themes: Media, Digital Technology and the Creative Economy
Schools: Colleges and Schools > College of Business & Law > Salford Business School > Centre for Digital Business
Journal or Publication Title: Information, Communication & Society
Publisher: Taylor & Francis
Refereed: Yes
ISSN: 1369-118X
Depositing User: HJ Richardson
Date Deposited: 06 Oct 2011 14:19
Last Modified: 20 Aug 2013 18:11
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/17945

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