Omaha Public Radio News
3:04 pm
Tue September 20, 2011

AIM Institute study shows barriers remain for women in IT jobs

Omaha, NE – A new study on women in information technology leadership shows not enough opportunities are presented to young girls to get involved in IT.

The AIM Institute did the study of 69 men and women in IT jobs in Omaha and Lincoln. Richard Box of the AIM Institute says the study found that early exposure is important to getting girls interested in information technology. "Boys tend to be interested in IT and tech things earlier than girls are. They take apart computers, put things together, just generally engage with the idea of technology very often earlier than girls do."

Box says their study found that most "open discrimination" of women in IT jobs and leadership positions is gone. But he says the interviews also indicated women in those jobs are socially excluded. "It's still true from what we found that in organizations, assertive men tend to be valued and assertive women can be regarded with suspicion or disapproval. Women felt that often they have to prove themselves in a way that men don't."

The entire Women in IT leadership study is available at www.aiminstitute.org.