Odd girl out: an individual differences perspective on women in the IT profession

Eileen M. Trauth (School of Information Sciences and Technology, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania, USA)

Information Technology & People

ISSN: 0959-3845

Publication date: 1 June 2002


This paper develops a theoretical perspective on gender and information technology (IT) by examining socio‐cultural influences on women who are members of the information technology profession in Australia and New Zealand. In‐depth interviews with both practitioners and academics give evidence of a range of socio‐cultural influences on the professional development and working lives of women IT professionals. The paper rejects the essentialist view of women and their relationship to IT that has been put forth in the information systems literature arguing, instead, the primacy of societal and structural influences. The particular contribution of this paper is a theoretical perspective of individual differences which is presented to characterize the way individual women respond in a range of specific ways to the interplay between individual characteristics and environmental influences. This perspective contributes to a better understanding of women’s involvement in the IT sector and suggests areas for proactive policy response.



Eileen M. Trauth (2002) "Odd girl out: an individual differences perspective on women in the IT profession", Information Technology & People, Vol. 15 No. 2, pp. 98-118

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: https://doi.org/10.1108/09593840210430552




Copyright © 2002, MCB UP Limited

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