Choice of technology as a “natural progression”

Book cover for
Gender Inequalities in Tech-driven Research and Innovation
Living the Contradiction
, edited by Gabriele Griffin

In Unconventional Routes into ICT Work: Learning from Women’s
Own Solutions for Working around Gendered Barriers
, Gilda Seddighi and myself analyse women’s routes to ICT work in light of their educational choices, way of acquiring ICT competence, and the position and work tasks they currently have at work.

The chapter illustrates that a large group of all the women we interviewed, had not imagined working with technology when finishing upper secondary school and moving on to university.

One of the women who had gradually moved toward technology described doing so as a “natural progression”, from a Master’s degree in chemistry to a PhD in cybernetics. We asked why she had made these choices:

Well, in fact I chose chemistry. When I finished (high school) I didn’t even know what cybernetics was. And I am not sure that I would have chosen it even if I had known […] The most important thing is that you see as you go along, whether you like the subject or not, and then make choices based on that. So, I started with chemistry but then I chose the subjects with less chemistry, more towards control systems. Therefore, it was a natural transition into cybernetics for me. (“Dani”, in Corneliussen & Seddighi, 2022, p. 66-67)

The barriers that many women experience when approaching tech education during their teens, might not appear equally daunting when they move into tech via less conventional routes, such as Dani’s “natural progression”.

The chapter is open access, available to read online or download as pdf:

Cite this chapter:
Corneliussen, H. G., & Seddighi, G. (2022), Unconventional routes into ICT work: Learning from women’s own solutions for working around gendered barriers. In G. Griffin (Ed.), Gender Inequalities in Tech-Driven Research and innovation: Living the Contradiction (56-75), Bristol: Bristol University Press.

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