Socialization in an occupation differs in important ways from organizational socialization. Entering a defined occupation is apt to involve a lifelong commitment, yet it is one that individuals often drift into gradually. Entering occupations involves five different, but overlapping processes: attraction, access, adjustment, identification and commitment (Trice & Beyer, 1993). The first of these five processes refers to the specific features of the occupation that get individuals attention and attract them to the occupation. Such features include specific members of the occupation to whom newcomers get attracted such as successful heroes and mentors. It could also be the activities distinctive of the occupational culture or the kinds of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards that the occupation appears to offer. This research study focuses on the attraction process of occupational socialization to the information technology (Ahuja, 2002) field of female students in order to understand women’s experiences and initial perceptions of the IT occupation. This study gathers empirical evidence from current female students in IT-related majors based on a qualitative approach and the use of focus groups as the elicitation technique. The goal of our research study is to contribute to a better understanding of the initial process of occupational socialization of female students in IT majors. The findings of this study, we believe, can help in improving and customizing recruitment strategies for female students that would emphasize the most attractive features of the IT occupation as perceived by women. In this research in progress we present the findings of our study based on eight focus groups conducted with students of three IT related academic majors in two academic institutions in the United States.
Guzman, Indira R.; Sharif, Raed M.; Blanchard, Tyler J.; Ellis, George S.; and Stanton, Jeffrey M., "What Attracts Women to the IT Field? The First Process of Occupational Socialization" (2005). AMCIS 2005 Proceedings. 305.