The academic literature has documented several projects aimed to increase gender diversity in IT majors, but very little research has been conducted and published in the context of Latin American countries. The purpose of this study is to understand the factors that influence career choice in STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math) majors with an emphasis in Information Technology (IT) majors in Bolivia, a country in South America. Departing from extensive literature available on the subject at the international level, this study aims to shed light on the reasons why in Bolivian women choose IT majors less than men. Five of the six possible reasons highlighted in the international literature are contrasted through a mixed research approach with the Bolivian Case. These are (i) cognitive abilities, (ii) relative cognitive strengths, (iii) occupational interests or preferences, (iv) lifestyle values or work-family balance preferences, ( v) beliefs of specific skills in the field of study, and (vi) stereotypes and prejudices related to gender. The qualitative research stage consisted of: (i) 20 semi-structured interviews with experts, mainly university professors in the La Paz metropolitan area, as well as employers; and (ii) two focus groups of university students from the first year. The authors will share the preliminary results of the study.
Branisa, Boris; Cabero Tapia, Patricia; and Guzman, Indira, "Why do so few women in Bolivia opt for IT careers and what can we do to change this situation?" (2020). AMCIS 2020 TREOs. 83.
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