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Intersectionality in the narratives of black women in computing through the education and workforce pipeline

Intersectionality in the narratives of black women in computing through the education and... The purpose of this study is to investigate the narratives of 93 Black women in computing in the USA to identify salient themes that are at the intersection of race and gender in the field of computer science.Design/methodology/approachThe study uses a multi-method approach with a survey to describe the sample and a series of focus groups for in-depth analysis of themes. The qualitative methodology uses a grounded theory and consensual qualitative research approach with a research team that includes computer scientists and social scientists to collect and analyze data. Given the highly technical field of computer science and the intersectional experiences of the participants, this approach was optimal to capture and code data through the lens of Black women in computing.FindingsThe authors found four main themes that represented specific needs for Black women in the computing community. The first is the importance of linking Black women in computing (i.e. their recruitment, retention and career growth) to the bottom line of organizational and personal accountability. The second is effective cultural and educational supports for Black women in computing across pathways, starting in middle school. The third is to provide leadership development as a part of their educational and workplace experience. The fourth is a collection of empirical research and scholarship about and for Black women as a part of the computing literature.Originality/valueBlack women comprise one of the most underrepresented subgroups in the area of computer science in the USA. There is very little research about Black women in computing. To promote broadened participation in computing, there is a critical need to understand the narratives of successful Black women in the space. http://www.deepdyve.com/assets/images/DeepDyve-Logo-lg.png Journal for Multicultural Education Emerald Publishing

Intersectionality in the narratives of black women in computing through the education and workforce pipeline

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Publisher
Emerald Publishing
Copyright
© Emerald Publishing Limited
ISSN
2053-535X
DOI
10.1108/jme-07-2018-0042
Publisher site
See Article on Publisher Site

Abstract

The purpose of this study is to investigate the narratives of 93 Black women in computing in the USA to identify salient themes that are at the intersection of race and gender in the field of computer science.Design/methodology/approachThe study uses a multi-method approach with a survey to describe the sample and a series of focus groups for in-depth analysis of themes. The qualitative methodology uses a grounded theory and consensual qualitative research approach with a research team that includes computer scientists and social scientists to collect and analyze data. Given the highly technical field of computer science and the intersectional experiences of the participants, this approach was optimal to capture and code data through the lens of Black women in computing.FindingsThe authors found four main themes that represented specific needs for Black women in the computing community. The first is the importance of linking Black women in computing (i.e. their recruitment, retention and career growth) to the bottom line of organizational and personal accountability. The second is effective cultural and educational supports for Black women in computing across pathways, starting in middle school. The third is to provide leadership development as a part of their educational and workplace experience. The fourth is a collection of empirical research and scholarship about and for Black women as a part of the computing literature.Originality/valueBlack women comprise one of the most underrepresented subgroups in the area of computer science in the USA. There is very little research about Black women in computing. To promote broadened participation in computing, there is a critical need to understand the narratives of successful Black women in the space.

Journal

Journal for Multicultural EducationEmerald Publishing

Published: Aug 20, 2019

Keywords: Computer science education; Black women in computing; Education pathways; Intersectionality of race and gender; Workforce pathways

References