ECIS 2020 Research Papers


Given the persistent prevalence of gender imbalances in the IT profession, IS researchers developed numerous theories that attempt to explain women’s decisions to pursue or to refrain from pursuing a career in IT. Those theories were recently criticized for still not being able to solve the problem of gender imbalances through interventions that are effective in the long-run. This criticism seems all the more important considering that gender inequality is even more serious in some sub-sections of IT than in others, for which one example is blockchain. We use an appreciative interview approach, focussing on the lived experiences of women working on blockchain, to explore factors that foster or constrain women’s decisions to work in the field of blockchain, thereby extending existing IS gender theories. Based on the analysis of thirty-eight appreciative interviews, we successively develop a combined model of social identity and individual difference theory of gender and IT (IDT), which is expected to capture more factors influencing women’s decisions than IDT alone. Particularly to be emphasized is the ability of the combined model to explain within- and out-group dynamics and the salience of social and role identity that are currently under-researched in gender-related IS research.



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