University of Oulu

Vainionpää, Fanny; Iivari, Netta; Kinnula, Marianne; and Zeng, Xiaocan, "IT is not for me - Women's Discourses on IT and IT Careers" (2020). Research Papers. 39.

IT is not for me : women’s discourses on IT and IT careers

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Author: Vainionpää, Fanny1; Iivari, Netta1; Kinnula, Marianne1;
Organizations: 1University of Oulu
2Universtiy of Oulu
Format: article
Version: published version
Access: open
Online Access: PDF Full Text (PDF, 0.9 MB)
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Language: English
Published: Association for Information Systems, 2020
Publish Date: 2020-05-26


Women remain underrepresented in IT-related fields, including IS. To address this issue, we need to listen to the women and girls making their career choice. We used a discourse lens to analyse qualitative interview data collected in Finland with 12 high school girls, 14 university students in IT, and 3 women in IT occupations. This selection of participants gave us versatile perspectives from different generations and nationalities, showing how the gender issue has evolved as our lives have become increasingly digitalized. Our findings show the participants from different life stages re-produced negative discourses found in earlier studies, but also questioned them. Based on our findings, we identified three discourses on IT careers — ’Not my thing’; ’Could try but probably won’t’; and ’Curious about everything’ — and associated three subject positions: 1) The Resistant; 2) The Indifferent; and 3) The Explorer. We contribute to IS research with a view of IT career choice as a process, where girls can end up in IT from any subject position. We also show that IS education needs to work on its visibility, differentiating IS careers, and support students’ professional development.

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ISBN: 978-1-7336325-1-5
Article number: 39
Host publication: Proceedings of the 28th European Conference on Information Systems (ECIS), June 15-17, 2020. Research papers
Conference: European Conference on Information Systems
Type of Publication: A4 Article in conference proceedings
Field of Science: 113 Computer and information sciences
Copyright information: © The Authors 2020.