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Predicting Women's Interest and Choice of an IT Career

Predicting Women's Interest and Choice of an IT Career
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Author(s): Elizabeth G. Creamer (Virginia Tech, USA), Soyoung Lee (Virginia Tech, USA), Peggy S. Meszaros (Virginia Tech, USA), Carol J. Burger (Virginia Tech, USA) and Anne Laughlin (Virginia Tech, USA)
Copyright: 2006
Pages: 6
Source title: Encyclopedia of Gender and Information Technology
Source Author(s)/Editor(s): Eileen M. Trauth (Pennsylvania State University, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-815-4.ch161

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Abstract

Research has supported the need to develop separate models for predicting men’s and women’s career interests. Women’s career interests, particularly in nontraditional fields in science, engineering, and technology (SET), are considerably more difficult to predict than are men’s (O’Brien & Fassinger, 1993). A number of factors have a significant impact on women’s career interests and choices but have little effect in predicting men’s career interests (O’Brien, Friedman, Tipton, & Linn, 2000). One of the most striking gender differences is that there is a much weaker connection for women than for men between interests, enjoyment, and career choice (O’Brien & Fassinger). The failure to make this connection is one explanation for the troubling finding that the majority of young women express interest in sex-typical careers that do not match their skills and are far below their ability (O’Brien & Fassinger). Gender differences in the factors that predict career interest apply to the field of information technology as well. There are significant gender differences in all aspects of the IT pipeline, from how women become interested in the computing field to how they enter and remain in it, as documented by Almstrum (2003).

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