This brief paper concludes the Gender and IT Entrepreneurship project that we conducted for NCWIT with support from the Kauffman Foundation. In this final paper, we present a high-level overview of our four summaries of social science scholarship on women's underrepresentation and the conditions that promote women's success as IT entrepreneurs, and we conclude with suggestions for a research agenda.
My mother always knew that the most effective way to get me to do something was not to force me. Commands like, "Clean your room," were never spoken. Instead, she made a challenge or a game out of any timeless chore. I had forgotten all about this indirect tactic until I participated in the recent NCWIT Practices Workshop in Redmond, Washington. Two things occurred to me as I listened to panelists and speakers throughout the day:
Thomas Friedman had an interesting piece in last week's NY Times about "Generation Q" – the generation of young people today whom he calls The Quiet Americans – and why they both impress and baffle him. Friedman explains that this is a generation imbued with an improbable sense of optimism and idealism, and yet it doesn't seem compelled by a commensurate level of activism.
I spent Tuesday and Wednesday last week at EmTech '07 -- the Emerging Technologies Conference at MIT -- a conference produced by Technology Review. The conference included an extraordinary number of interesting women, including the CTO of Xerox, and I was pleased to be a presenter at the event.
I am an experimental multimedia artist, student, and teacher living in Denver, CO. My latest artistic pursuits are a combination of various mediums including still image, video, sound, sculpture, light, and performance. Most recently I have been collaborating with another female artist, Heidi Higginbottom, to choreograph audio/visual performances using found objects, homemade instruments, contact microphones, and film loops.
Last week Ben Worthen, who writes the Wall Street Journal's Business Technology blog, posted a provocatively titled piece called, "Do Women Hate IT?" NCWIT provided some statistics and a few quotes for his post, which he ended with the question, "Why do you think women aren't pursuing IT careers?"