Purpose – Social exclusion as a result of gender, race, and class inequality is perhaps one of the most pressing challenges associated with the development of a diverse information technology (IT) workforce. Women remain under represented in the IT workforce and college majors that prepare students for IT careers. Research on the under representation of women in IT typically assumes women to be homogeneous in nature, something that blinds the research to variation that exists among women. This paper aims to address these issues. Design/methodology/approach – The paper challenges the assumption of heterogeneity by investigating how the intersection of gender, race, and class identities shape the experiences of Black female IT workers and learners in the USA. Findings – The results of this meta‐analysis offer new ways of theorizing that provide nuanced understanding of social exclusion and varied emancipatory practices in reaction to shared group exposure to oppression. Originality/value – This study on the under‐representation of women as IT workers and learners in the USA considers race and class as equally important factors for understanding variation among women. In addition, this paper provides rich insights into the experiences of Black women, a group that is largely absent from the research on gender and IT.
Journal of Information, Communication and Ethics in Society – Emerald Publishing
Published: May 1, 2009
Keywords: Gender; Race; Social class; Social inclusion; Communication technologies; United States of America
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