This illuminating monograph introduces a status-equilibrating, social capital explanation for the persistent gender stratification in the field of information technology. The authors analyze why the workforce has become increasingly male-dominated over time by looking at how pre-employment conditions provide different experiences and opportunities for women and men.
Employing a large-scale, longitudinal data set, this book forays further into the field than other contemporary studies, where all too often the debate focuses on broad and potentially too-far-reaching differences between men and women that are difficult to prove, making for spirited conversation but little else. The authors collect, analyze and present data on social interactions, sex-role attitudes and behavior, leadership, demographics, program retention, job placement, and career attitudes for five cohorts of undergraduate students spanning their last two years in a management information science program and through the job search process. By testing novel theory against their data, the authors demonstrate how structural factors interact with individual characteristics to determine not only who enters the field, but also how they enter it and whether they are likely to stay. These and other analyses ultimately lead to concrete suggestions for addressing gender stratification in the IT industry.
Raising – and answering – stimulating questions that will invariably enrich the field, this discerning volume will appeal to IT professionals and those in management roles in the discipline, as well as students and scholars of sociology, management, women’s studies, and social and organizational psychology.