Overcoming Gender Challenges in IT

Levi Thiele, PhD

AIM’s recent research investigates women’s experiences in information and communications technology (IT) management. Given concerns about women’s underrepresentation in the field of IT, especially in leadership positions, an examination of the factors that affect women’s career advancement is vital. Using data gathered from female and male IT professionals, AIM research explores challenges, organizational practices, and strategies for success. The findings highlight several effective approaches and organization policies that have enabled women to get ahead in IT.
The findings of this research identified several effective approaches that have enabled women to get ahead in IT. Many of the women felt that having pluck, or a “true grit” mentality, was an important factor for success. Instead of attempting to change organizational challenges, many of the successful female IT leaders focusing on proving themselves and fighting for opportunities. The findings indicated that promoting one’s successes and focusing on unique strengths can also diminish some of the gender challenging facing women in IT. Mentoring and networking were identified as two additional solutions to aid women’s career advancement in IT. The findings also identified some workplace practices that are conducive to women’s retention and advancement in IT. Flexible work arrangement including scheduling, on-site childcare, job sharing, and teleworking were discussed as organizational policies beneficial to both male and female IT professionals.
More information about this topic and AIM’s other recent research is available here.