Institutional Scholarship

Women in Technology: Where are they going and why are they here?

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dc.contributor.advisor Charlton, Joy Phillips, Clarissa M. 2019-06-03T14:39:49Z 2019-06-03T14:39:49Z 2019
dc.description.abstract Studies have shown that the technology sector, or tech sector, in the American economy is dominated by men, a phenomenon that has limited the diversity of thought present there; yet, though they seem few in numbers, there are women in the tech space. The questions then become where are they? How did they get here? And why? Over the course of a year, I conducted research on women in the computer science community, and in doing so have set out to answer two main questions: How do the women involved in computing conceptualize the computer science community, and how does this perception affect their desire to work in technology? In order to answer this question, I conducted an ethnographic observation of the 2018 Grace Hopper Conference-the largest gathering of women in computing in the world-as well as a series of interviews with women in the entry level stages (less than 5 years) of a technology occupation. With this data, I am able to make a number of observations about how women perceive the computer science community and technology sector, as well as how that perception affects their desire to work in those worlds. My research showed that some women in computer science are attracted to the need to creatively solve problems, in addition to the job stability and unique benefits that are often associated with these positions, but are unsatisfied with the minimal social interaction and explicit social impact. As a result, they are not motivated to stay in the tech industry for a long period of time. This is despite their viewing the community as a viable and even favorable career option for anyone with an interest in innovation, no matter their previous experiences or background. Consequently, I raise two structural changes that may help to increase the number of women who go into and stay in technology: educating more women on the structure and value of computer science (CS), thereby encouraging them to give the discipline a try, and evolving traditional Developer roles to incorporate more social interaction and thoughtful design strategies. en_US
dc.description.sponsorship Swarthmore College. Dept. of Sociology & Anthropology en_US
dc.language.iso en en_US
dc.rights Full copyright to this work is retained by the student author. It may only be used for non-commercial, research, and educational purposes. All other uses are restricted.
dc.title Women in Technology: Where are they going and why are they here? en_US
dc.rights.access No restrictions en_US

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