One of the most important issues facing the Information Systems (IS) field is the gender imbalance in the Information Technology (IT) workforce. Many ethnic minorities are underrepresented in the IT workforce as well. We use Intersectionality theory to help examine this problem. Specifically, we explore public perceptions of the toxicity of IT professions and social barriers that prevent people from pursuing IT careers across several gender-ethnicity intersections in the United States (U.S.). We find that African-American and Hispanic men and women tend to find IT careers more toxic than do European-American and Asian men and women. Regarding social barriers, women report greater social barriers for pursuing IT careers than do men, and African-Americans and Hispanics report greater barriers than do European Americans and Asians. The greatest perception of barriers is among African-American women. Based on our findings, we discuss the need to reduce barriers through education.
Harmon, Kevin; Armeen, Inaiya; and Walden, Eric A., "An Intersectionality Approach to the IT Gender Gap: Gender and Ethnic Variations in Perceptions of IT Careers" (2020). AISWN International Research Workshop on Women, IS and Grand Challenges 2020. 6.