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Assimilation, Accommodation and Activism: How Women in the IT Workplace Cope

Assimilation, Accommodation and Activism: How Women in the IT Workplace Cope
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Author(s): Sue E. Kase (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)and Eileen M. Trauth (The Pennsylvania State University, USA)
Copyright: 2003
Pages: 3
Source title: Information Technology & Organizations: Trends, Issues, Challenges & Solutions
Source Editor(s): Mehdi Khosrow-Pour, D.B.A. (Information Resources Management Association, USA)
DOI: 10.4018/978-1-59140-066-0.ch225
ISBN13: 9781616921248
EISBN13: 9781466665330


Women are under-represented in the information technology (IT) professions. A sufficient understanding of the underlying causes of gender underrepresentation in the IT profession is needed in order to develop effective educational policies and workplace human resource strategies to attract and retain more women. Unfortunately, few theories exist about how some women manage to survive and succeed in this male domain. One line of research critically analyzes marginalized groups coping and competing within the IT power structure. This paper continues in that tradition by developing a framework for the categorization of women’s coping responses to gender issues found in the IT workplace. The framework integrates the findings from key multidisciplinary literature examining a variety of coping theories. The framework is based on the three types of women found in Trauth et al. (2000): Assimilation, Accommodation, and Activism. This coping responses framework will contribute to the development of new theories about the IT gender imbalance and provide a basis for interventions to promote change.

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