Study Reveals What Women Want From IT Jobs RRS feed

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  • A Penn State study of 92 female IT professionals shows that the traditional sales pitch focusing on job promotion and security actually stops women from taking information technology jobs. Eileen Trauth, a professor of information sciences and technology at Penn State, says that human-resource workers need to recognize that women have diverse values and motivations throughout the course of their careers and hiring and retention practices need to be adjusted to fit those needs. The study focused on three traditional "career anchors"--technical competence, managerial competence, and organizational security--while interviewing women from a variety of ethnic identities, ages, and backgrounds. All of the women work in IT positions ranging from Web developers and IT administrators all the way up to CIO and upper-level managers. The study found that, contrary to traditional theories, none of the anchors alone was a deciding factor in the women's career choices. About 30 percent said they valued careers that let them perfect technical skills while others said they wanted career paths with managerial opportunities. Women interested in management were most attracted to the opportunity to supervise, manage, and coordinate the work of others, and several spoke on the importance of earning graduate degrees to move into management. The research is described in a paper, "What Do Women Want: An Investigation of Career Anchors among Women in the IT Workforce," given at the recent SIGMIS Computer Personnel Research Conference in St. Louis.
    Tuesday, May 29, 2007 12:11 PM