The role of women as an underserved community in the world of information technology (IT) is both unique and perplexing. In this paper we consider the question of women as an underserved community in IT, and in particular, their role as producers of IT. In order to better understand the ways in which women do and do not represent a coherent underserved community within the IT profession, the research question motivating this paper is: Do women vary with respect to the factors that help to explain the underrepresentation of women in the IT profession and, if so, how? In order to address this question, we draw on data from a multi-year qualitative investigation of the underrepresentation of women in the U.S. IT profession. In doing so, we investigate gender discourses with respect to: domestic responsibilities, career opportunities and IT as a masculine domain. We also demonstrate the range of responses to these discourses. This research contributes to an understanding of socio-cultural factors that serve as barriers to and facilitators of women’s recruitment and retention in the IT profession and to the factors that have enabled some women to overcome these barriers.
Trauth, Eileen and Quesenberry, Jeria, "Are Women an Underserved Community in the Information Technology Profession?" (2006). ICIS 2006 Proceedings. 106.