Paper Title

“In a world full of men, you have to just stand out and speak your mind”: An Intersectional Study of Workplace Culture for Women in the Computing and Information Technology Workforce

Panel

Information Systems, Workplace Issues, and Digital Enclosures

Location

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

Start Date

31-3-2016 3:30 PM

End Date

31-3-2016 4:45 PM

Keywords

Intersectionality, Computing, IT, Workforce, Race, Gender

Abstract

In the U.S., women account for about 25% of workers in computing and technology occupations compared to 46% in all occupations. Many organizations, including the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House, aim to support the enrollment and retention of women in technology. This research explores the sociocultural factors affecting women’s experiences in the workplace in computing and (information technology) IT occupations. I employ a mixed-methodological approach using surveys and in-depth interviews with women of color and white women. Women of color experience discrimination similar to that of white women, but often they experience “double-discrimination” on the basis of race and sex. Some workplace studies have researched the consequences of women exhibiting anger – a stereotypically masculine trait - but do not address how exhibiting anger is different for women of color. For example, passivity is a sex-based norm for white women. The women of color I interviewed were expected to be vocal and assertive at times, but still felt limited in their authority based on their gender. Studying workplace culture regarding gender and race brings to light the myriad of ways that discrimination exists for all women in computing including the double-discrimination experienced by women of color.

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Mar 31st, 3:30 PM Mar 31st, 4:45 PM

“In a world full of men, you have to just stand out and speak your mind”: An Intersectional Study of Workplace Culture for Women in the Computing and Information Technology Workforce

Room 222, DiGiorgio Campus Center (DiGs)

In the U.S., women account for about 25% of workers in computing and technology occupations compared to 46% in all occupations. Many organizations, including the Office of Science and Technology Policy in the White House, aim to support the enrollment and retention of women in technology. This research explores the sociocultural factors affecting women’s experiences in the workplace in computing and (information technology) IT occupations. I employ a mixed-methodological approach using surveys and in-depth interviews with women of color and white women. Women of color experience discrimination similar to that of white women, but often they experience “double-discrimination” on the basis of race and sex. Some workplace studies have researched the consequences of women exhibiting anger – a stereotypically masculine trait - but do not address how exhibiting anger is different for women of color. For example, passivity is a sex-based norm for white women. The women of color I interviewed were expected to be vocal and assertive at times, but still felt limited in their authority based on their gender. Studying workplace culture regarding gender and race brings to light the myriad of ways that discrimination exists for all women in computing including the double-discrimination experienced by women of color.