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Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation


  • J. McGrath Cohoon

    (University of Virginia)

  • William Aspray

    (University of Texas, Austin)


Computing remains a heavily male-dominated field even after twenty-five years of extensive efforts to promote female participation. The contributors to Women and Information Technology look at reasons for the persistent gender imbalance in computing and explore some strategies intended to reverse the downward trend. The studies included are rigorous social science investigations; they rely on empirical evidence—not rhetoric, hunches, folk wisdom, or off-the-cuff speculation about supposed innate differences between men and women. Taking advantage of the recent surge in research in this area, the editors present the latest findings of both qualitative and quantitative studies. Each section begins with an overview of the literature on current research in the field, followed by individual studies. The first section investigates the relationship between gender and information technology among preteens and adolescents, with each study considering what could lead girls' interest in computing to diverge from boys'; the second section, on higher education, includes a nationwide study of computing programs and a cross-national comparison of computing education; the final section, on pathways into the IT workforce, considers both traditional and nontraditional paths to computing careers.

Suggested Citation

  • J. McGrath Cohoon & William Aspray (ed.), 2008. "Women and Information Technology: Research on Underrepresentation," MIT Press Books, The MIT Press, edition 1, volume 1, number 0262533073, January.
  • Handle: RePEc:mtp:titles:0262533073

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    References listed on IDEAS

    1. Alberto Alesina & Enrico Spolaore, 1997. "On the Number and Size of Nations," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 112(4), pages 1027-1056.
    2. Aghion, Philippe & Howitt, Peter, 1992. "A Model of Growth through Creative Destruction," Econometrica, Econometric Society, vol. 60(2), pages 323-351, March.
    3. Robert J. Barro, 1991. "Economic Growth in a Cross Section of Countries," The Quarterly Journal of Economics, Oxford University Press, vol. 106(2), pages 407-443.
    4. Barro, Robert J. & Lee, Jong-Wha, 1993. "International comparisons of educational attainment," Journal of Monetary Economics, Elsevier, vol. 32(3), pages 363-394, December.
    5. Kenneth J. Arrow, 1962. "The Economic Implications of Learning by Doing," Review of Economic Studies, Oxford University Press, vol. 29(3), pages 155-173.
    6. Alesina, Alberto & Summers, Lawrence H, 1993. "Central Bank Independence and Macroeconomic Performance: Some Comparative Evidence," Journal of Money, Credit and Banking, Blackwell Publishing, vol. 25(2), pages 151-162, May.
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