Journal of Information Systems Education


Few women major in Management Information Systems (MIS). The purpose of this paper is to examine the reasons for women’s underrepresentation in MIS. In addition to examining gender differences, an important and novel goal of this study is to examine intra-gender differences in undergraduate students, i.e., differences among female MIS majors and female students who enrolled in MIS courses as a Business elective (i.e., non-majors). This study found that women's experiences with and self-efficacy regarding computers were much lower than men’s, but that they did not have more negative stereotypes and attitudes toward the field. Overall female students had more positive attitudes towards their MIS courses and instructors than male students did. One of the most interesting findings was the importance of female high school computer teachers and role models for female students. Importantly, there was very strong evidence for intra-gender differences. Female majors had much higher computer self-efficacy, computer experience, had more positive attitudes toward MIS, and were more likely to have had female computer teachers in high school compared to female non-majors. The implications of these findings for MIS are discussed.



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