ECIS 2020 Research Papers

Abstract

Women remain underrepresented in IT-related fields, including IS. To address this issue, we need to listen to the women and girls making their career choice. We used a discourse lens to analyse qualitative interview data collected in Finland with 12 high school girls, 14 university students in IT, and 3 women in IT occupations. This selection of participants gave us versatile perspectives from different generations and nationalities, showing how the gender issue has evolved as our lives have become increasingly digitalized. Our findings show the participants from different life stages re-produced negative discourses found in earlier studies, but also questioned them. Based on our findings, we identified three discourses on IT careers – ‘Not my thing’; ‘Could try but probably won’t’; and ‘Curious about everything’ – and associated three subject positions: 1) The Resistant; 2) The Indifferent; and 3) The Explorer. We contribute to IS research with a view of IT career choice as a process, where girls can end up in IT from any subject position. We also show that IS education needs to work on its visibility, differentiating IS careers, and support students’ professional development.

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