The IT sector boasts of few women compared to their male counterparts. This is mainly due to the fact that women spend a lot of time taking care of the family. Also, lack of work flexibility has made it hard for women to engage in the IT sector. Other than the problems experienced by the women as they juggle between career and home keeping, the IT sector is largely dominated by men. Despite advances in technology, the digital divide between men and women has continued to increase. In both the UK and the U.S, women who join the IT profession are not only a few, but the concern has been that they are leaving the IT sector and following a different career direction altogether. The major concern has been the imbalance being experienced in the IT sector and whether the situation can be reversed. According to Matwyshyn (2003), the disparity between men and women in the IT sector has reduced and the number of women taking undergraduate degrees in IT is less compared to men.
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There is a disparity between men and women in the information technology sector despite the advanced technology in the 21st century.
Research purpose statement and problem
The research study aims to determine the cause of disparity in the IT sector and the policies that can be incorporated to ensure that women are presented well in the IT sector. By applying the research purpose statement, it will be possible to answer the following research questions: Why is there gender disparity in information technology? Can the current situation be reversed and in what ways can this be realized? This would enable the realization of the objectives of the research study.
There is less than or a third (33.3%) of women in the IT industry in the United States.
There are more than 66.6%% of men in the IT sector compared to women.
Therefore, the null and the alternative hypotheses would be: H0 will be 33.3% or less than women in IT and H1 will be more than 66.6% men in IT
H0: p <_ 0.333 (33.3% or less) H1: P> 66.6%
Significance of the study
In terms of academic interest, the study has the potential to contribute to what students ought to know about the existing discrepancies between men and women in schools and the professional arena. The results are highly significant to all the people in society. For instance, the outcome of the study can be useful in implementing policies and practices that can reverse gender diversity in the IT sector. The research will also help in determining the reasons why there has been a low turnout of women in the IT sector despite the advance in and availability of technology. The government and other stakeholders will also take appropriate measures to ensure that the disparity is minimized.
A conceptual framework is defined as a group of concepts that are systematically organized to provide a focus, a rationale, and a tool for the integration and interpretation of information. In this case, misconception and education impact greatly on gender disparity in the IT sector.
There has been a misconception by society that women do not belong to the IT sector (Information Age, 2008). This has resulted in a drastic reduction in the number of women willing to participate in IT-related sectors. Women participate in technology-related applications such as the internet, but according to Matwyshyn (2003), the number of female technology producers is low compared to men. This can be attributed to the fact that since 1984, the number of women undertaking information technology-related courses has been decreasing rapidly. Matwyshyn (2003) notes that women being awarded bachelor-level computer and information science degrees has reduced and in 2000, the figure stood at 21%. This has been supported by the Department Of Labor, Licensing and Regulations (2010) which indicates that disparity begins at the school level then to the professional world. Therefore, it can be noted that disparity in information technology is acceptable right from high school. A study carried out on women in India by Sahu (2008) shows that although there are many women at the entry-level, the number reduces as they progress. Some of the reasons for the decline include marriage, relocation, children, and family, among other relevant personal problems. In India, the number of women in the IT sector is 18% compared to men. According to EDC (n.d) women tend to take lower-end computing classes compared to men hence the disparity.
In the UK, women are leaving the IT industry in droves. Swabey (2008) note that women comprised 23% of the IT in 2001 but by 2007, the number had reduced to 18%. The manager of the BCS Women Forum says that the number of women exiting the IT sector has increased mainly due to a lack of flexibility at the workplace. This has been reflected in India’s IT sector. It has been noted that women leave the IT sector because of the treatment that they receive while in the sector (Swabey, 2008). This restricts them from climbing the corporate ladder to high positions. Greenhill (1998) observes that attitude matters in determining the career to be chosen. For example, discrimination as a result of attitudinal behavior has resulted in a disparity between men and women in the IT sector. This, for instance, happens in schools whereby students taking sciences have a higher chance of being introduced to computer-related studies than the others. Therefore, there is a lot of literature that supports the research statement in that there is a disparity between men and women in the IT sector. The sector lacks mentors (McCue, 2005) and the culture and treatment women receive in the sector has made some leave even at managerial positions.
The study participants shall comprise both males and females for purposes of ensuring gender equity. This is because the issues under study require the opinions of both females and males. These groups of participants shall be randomly chosen from learning institutions and the IT sector. The proposed number of participants has knowledge in computer skills either at professional or basic levels.
Sampling procedure and the sample size
After consent from both the relevant authorities and the participants has been obtained, the researcher shall then explain to the participants that the research is totally for academic purposes only and that confidentiality would be guaranteed. With a population target of 1000 people, the research plan will use a sample of 100 participants. After getting the names of the participants and writing them alphabetically selection will then be done. Asymmetric random sampling shall be used whereby the population (1000) is divided by 100 to get 10. Therefore, the tenth name on the list will be the first participant. The sequence will be followed until a sample of 100 participants is reached. The participants will be divided equally; 50 men and 50 women. A purposive sampling strategy shall be used because it allows for the collection of attitudes, perceptions, and opinions of the respondents. The common aspect that would be considered is the level of education and whether the respondents have been using information technology, and for how long. A purposive sampling strategy would be applied because it allows an in-depth understanding of the research.
The study used different methods of data collection. During the course of this research, both primary and secondary methods of data collection shall be used. A qualitative research design shall be applied to obtain the opinions, attitudes, and perceptions of the respondents on whether renewable resources form the future sources of energy. The quantitative research design will also be applied to determine the number of women present in the IT sector. This will facilitate answering the research question.
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- Department Of Labor, Licensing and Regulations (2010). DLLR’s Division of Labor and Industry.
- EDC (n.d). Facts Technology.
- Greenhill, A. (1998). Equity and Access to Information Technology shifting the source of the problem in the 21st Century. Web.
- Information Age (2008). Gender Gap.
- Matwyshyn, A. M. (2003). Silicon Ceilings: Information Technology Equity, the Digital Divide and the Gender Gap among Information Technology Professionals. Northwestern Journal of Technology and Intellectual Property. 2(1).
- McCue, A. (2005). IT industry’s ‘macho culture’ drives women away.
- Sahu, M. (2008). New vistas for working women in India’s IT industry. Info Change News & Features.
- Swabey, P. (2008). Women flee IT industry.