What attracts women to the IT field? The first process of occupational socialization

Indira R. Guzman, Raed M. Sharif, Tyler J. Blanchard, George S. Ellis, Jeffrey M. Stanton

Research output: Chapter in Book/Entry/PoemConference contribution

5 Scopus citations


Socialization in an occupation differs in important ways from organizational socialization. Entering a defined occupation is apt to involve a lifelong commitment, yet it is one that individuals often drift into gradually. Entering occupations involves five different, but overlapping processes: attraction, access, adjustment, identification and commitment (Trice & Beyer, 1993). The first of these five processes refers to the specific features of the occupation that get individuals attention and attract them to the occupation. Such features include specific members of the occupation to whom newcomers get attracted such as successful heroes and mentors. It could also be the activities distinctive of the occupational culture or the kinds of extrinsic and intrinsic rewards that the occupation appears to offer. This research study focuses on the attraction process of occupational socialization to the information technology (Ahuja, 2002) field of female students in order to understand women's experiences and initial perceptions of the IT occupation. This study gathers empirical evidence from current female students in IT-related majors based on a qualitative approach and the use of focus groups as the elicitation technique. The goal of our research study is to contribute to a better understanding of the initial process of occupational socialization of female students in IT majors. The findings of this study, we believe, can help in improving and customizing recruitment strategies for female students that would emphasize the most attractive features of the IT occupation as perceived by women. In this research in progress we present the findings of our study based on eight focus groups conducted with students of three IT related academic majors in two academic institutions in the United States.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Title of host publicationAssociation for Information Systems - 11th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2005
Subtitle of host publicationA Conference on a Human Scale
Number of pages9
StatePublished - 2005
Event11th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2005 - Omaha, NE, United States
Duration: Aug 11 2005Aug 15 2005

Publication series

NameAssociation for Information Systems - 11th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2005: A Conference on a Human Scale


Other11th Americas Conference on Information Systems, AMCIS 2005
Country/TerritoryUnited States
CityOmaha, NE


  • Focus Groups
  • IT Workforce
  • Occupational Socialization
  • Recruitment in IT
  • Women in IT

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Computer Science Applications
  • Computer Networks and Communications
  • Information Systems
  • Library and Information Sciences


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