Gender Stratification in the IT Industry

Gender Stratification in the IT Industry

Sex, Status and Social Capital

Kenneth W. Koput and Barbara A. Gutek

This illuminating monograph introduces a status-equilibrating, social capital explanation for the persistent gender stratification in the field of information technology. The authors analyze why the workforce has become increasingly male-dominated over time by looking at how pre-employment conditions provide different experiences and opportunities for women and men.

Chapter 3: Data and Methods

Kenneth W. Koput and Barbara A. Gutek

Subjects: business and management, diversity and management, gender and management


3.1 RESEARCH SETTING In contrast to ‘virtually all research on jobs [which] begins with data on job incumbents’ (Fernandez and Sosa, 2005: 860), we collected data at multiple points in time on social interactions, outside responsibilities, sexrole attitudes and behavior, leadership, demographics, placement, career attrition and career attitudes (attachment, satisfaction and intention) for five cohorts of undergraduate students spanning their last two years in a management information systems (MIS) program through the job search process. Like Fernandez and Sosa, we examined pre-hire mechanisms underlying retention and placement, along with the concomitant variables of commitment and satisfaction, as outcomes for our student population. Although some might draw a distinction between MIS and IT, we adopt the inclusive perspective suggested by the National Science Foundation (NSF–CISE, 2000). Data were collected in several different ways: three periodic surveys given to all participants (for the initial cohort only two surveys were given), leadership surveys given at the end of two courses in which students worked together in groups, archival information collected by university officials and interviews with selected individuals and groups of students. To begin, an initial pilot survey was designed to measure social interactions and attitudes. This survey was administered in the spring of 2001. This survey contained 21 questions relating to students’ social interactions, 19 questions about their experiences in MIS that were intended to capture sex-role spillover (SRS), a nine-question commitment scale, and demographic questions. We initially attempted to conduct this survey online, using a secure web server, but ran...

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