Gender and IT Professionals in the United States: A Survey of College Graduates

Mark Wardell, Steve Sawyer, Jessica Mitory, Sara Reagor

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

9 Scopus citations


In this paper, we present findings from a survey of college graduates working in professional information technology jobs in the United States, focusing specifically on how career outcomes vary by gender. In doing so, we adopt an institutional standpoint and theorise that the organisation of the workplace, postgraduate training and education, and family characteristics largely shape the work-related outcomes of men and women in the information technology workforce. Drawing from interviews with 2823 graduates with information technology-related degrees, we report five major findings. First, women are nearly 2.5 times as likely as men to leave the professional information technology workforce. Second, men and women work similar hours and have similar commute times. Third, no significant differences exist between men's and women's types of formal postgraduate training and education. Fourth, women take more unpaid leave and for longer periods than men. Finally, women are paid significantly less than men. We conclude that the ‘pipeline’ approach to redress the under-representation of women in information technology fields provides a limited solution to a complex situation because it fails to anticipate the significance of women's experiences once they enter professional information technology jobs.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)39-58
Number of pages20
JournalLabour & Industry
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2006
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Industrial relations
  • Public Administration
  • Economics, Econometrics and Finance (miscellaneous)
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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