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Women’s career advancement in the it field In the kingdom of Bahrain

Alsebaie, FMB 2015, Women’s career advancement in the it field In the kingdom of Bahrain , PhD thesis, Engineering Research Centre.

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Abstract

Despite the growing number of women in the IT field in Bahrain, they are under-represented in senior management positions in the Information Technology (IT) field. Specifically, the purpose of this study is to gain better understanding of the factors that influence Bahraini women in their career advancement to upper managerial levels within the IT field. The underrepresentation of women in the IT field has been widely studied in the context of Western countries, however, there are few studies in Eastern Arabic countries. This study will explore how the culture in Bahrain society, which is Arabic and Islamic, shape the experiences of women working in the IT field. The Individual Differences Theory of Gender and IT (IDTOGIT) (Trauth, 2002; Trauth et al., 2004; Queensberry & Trauth, 2007) was used in this study as a conceptual and an analytical framework for understanding the factors that influence women’s career advancement in the IT field. This theory examines the variations between women's personal characteristics and their ways of responding to the environmental influences in understanding women’s participation in the IT profession. An interview methodology was used for investigating the work experience of a group of ten Bahraini women in a senior or middle management position in the IT field. The interview methodology helps in getting a more complete picture of what happened in their career advancement, and how they achieved high managerial positions in the IT field. Face-to-face and semi-structured interviews were conducted with the cases in order to investigate the factors that hinder or facilitate their career advancement in the IT field. The constructive grounded theory analysis (Charmaz, 2006) was used for analysing the data of the interviews. The key findings of this study are that women in IT careers, especially at the early age of their career, need to show a high level of performance, productivity, and competencies in the work. Women’s career advancement in the IT field also demands a high level of commitment and motivation to the organisation, determination, challenge and ambition, and interest in IT work. The data analysis has showed that all of these identified individual characteristics are necessary and have a significant impact on the ability and way of responding to the environmental influences identified in this study. The most important environmental influences identified in this study are management support, relationship with peers, training, organisational structure and rules, understanding the IT role, cultural impact on women in the IT field, and work-life balance. Examining the influence of these individual and environmental factors together and the links between them helped to understand the participation of Bahraini women in the IT profession. The research findings will help in understanding some of the reasons behind gender segregation and women’s under-representation in the IT field in Bahrain. The study findings further offer insights into how to improve women’s career advancement in the IT field. Also, it provides a contribution to knowledge in the area of IT and gender by addressing the factors influencing women’s career advancement in the IT field. It is an original contribution to the body of knowledge by establishing the basis of further studies of women in IT careers in Bahrain focusing on career advancement.

Item Type: Thesis (PhD)
Schools: Schools > School of Computing, Science and Engineering
Funders: Non funded research
Depositing User: FMB Alsebaie
Date Deposited: 18 Jan 2016 13:51
Last Modified: 18 Jan 2016 13:51
URI: http://usir.salford.ac.uk/id/eprint/36932

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