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Girly girls and geeky guys

Geneve, Anitza, Nelson, Karen J., & Christie, Ruth J. (2008) Girly girls and geeky guys. In Investigating the Theory and Practice of Gender and Sexuality in the Workplace, 12-13 June 2008, Surrey, United Kingdom. (Unpublished)

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Abstract

Women employed in the Australian Information Communication Technologies (ICT) industries have been presented on the cover of a 2006 calendar as semi clad Information Technology (IT) screen goddesses . On International Women’s Day 2008, school aged girls were informed by a very pink website that ‘tech girls are chic not just geek’ . Such strategies are implemented as a response to gender and occupational stereotypes associated with the ICT industry, which may make it unappealing for women to pursue an ICT career path, such as ‘geeky, lonely male nerds’ being the norm. However, how do initiatives which promote the femininity or sexuality of female ICT workers encourage more women into the workplace? Are we now suggesting that all women working in ICT need to look glamorous and not admit to being a geek? If these women shape the digital products that shape society, where technology is a dimension of social change (Wajcman, 2000) how will they influence the bust size of female computer game characters? This paper provides insights into the influence of gender and occupational stereotypes, as identified by participants in an exploratory interpretive case study. Emerging from the data analysis the ‘Sphere of Influence’ conceptual model (Geneve, Nelson, Christie, 2008) is proposed as a conceptual framework with which to explore influences on women’s participation in the ICT. Utilising the lens of ‘human agency’, particularly Bandura’s (1999) Social Cognitive Theory as a theoretical scaffold, moves the case study from descriptive towards explanatory. A hermeneutic approach acknowledges the participant’s active phenomenological role in processing the environmental influences.

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ID Code: 18361
Item Type: Conference Paper
Keywords: Gender, Digital Content Industry, Multimedia, Games, stereotypes, Bandura
Divisions: Past > QUT Faculties & Divisions > Faculty of Science and Technology
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2008 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 27 Feb 2009 08:53
Last Modified: 09 Jun 2010 23:27

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