The decreasing number of young women undertaking IT-related degree programmes and careers has been a worrying trend for the past twenty years. Given that IT has never been more pervasive and accessible, decreasing female participation in the discipline (and the variety of reported causes) presents a ‘wicked problem’ for IT educators and professionals. In this research study, we suggest that the ‘wicked problem’ of low female participation in IT requires a practical, collaborative solution. To make sense of the low take-up of IT careers, we undertook a qualitative, exploratory study of female- only schools in Ireland using a tailored, collaborative workshop approach (#MakeITWork). Study findings indicate that while attitudes towards IT careers are largely outdated, these views can be swiftly changed through a collaborative workshop approach. Overall, this study highlights the need for (i) greater stakeholder collaboration and (ii) better quality information available via novel formats if the entrenched, negative (and often erroneous) perceptions of the IT industry are to be dispelled.
Kiely, Gaye; Heavin, Ciara; and Lynch, Patricia, "THE WICKED PROBLEM OF LOW FEMALE PARTICIPATION IN IT: A COLLABORA-TIVE WORKSHOP APPROACH (10)" (2017). UK Academy for Information Systems Conference Proceedings 2017. 74.