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Understanding the Mommy Tracks in the IT Workforce

Understanding the Mommy Tracks in the IT Workforce
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Author(s): Jeria L. Quesenberry (The Pennsylvania State University, USA) and Eileen M. Trauth (The Pennsylvania State University, 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.ch186

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Abstract

Despite the recent growth in the number of women in the American labor force, women are under represented in the IT workforce. Key among the factors that account for this under representation is balancing work-family issues. Some researchers have speculated that IT work is not an ideal fit for working mothers because of long work hours, increased conflicts with family responsibilities, and the difficulty of returning after maternity leave to an industry with ever evolving technologies (Kuosa, 2000; Webster, 1996). This article reports on an empirical study that explored the influence of work-family balance on American women’s participation in the IT workforce by using the Individual Differences Theory of Gender and IT (Trauth, 2002; Trauth, Quesenberry, & Morgan, 2004; Trauth, Huang, Morgan, Quesenberry, & Yeo, 2006). In doing so, we summarize a work-family balance study presented in greater detail in Quesenberry, Morgan, and Trauth (2004) and Quesenberry, Trauth, and Morgan (2006) that articulates the ways in which individual and environmental factors influence female responses to issues of work-family balance.

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