Doing IT looks at women in infotech careers

York University alumna, researcher and staff member Krista Scott-Dixon (right) has written a book that examines the role of women working in information technology (IT). The book, Doing IT: Women Working in Information Technology has just been published by Sumach Press.

From the boom of the 1990s to the bust of early 2000, women have been carving out careers in information technology. For these IT workers, it is not just about earning a living but about applying their technological, scientific and engineering skills and knowledge, as well as their love for the technologies themselves. Doing IT demonstrates that women fill a wide variety of technological occupations, yet continue to face barriers preventing them from reaching their full professional potential. Scott-Dixon examines the IT environment’s workplace culture and practices that keep gender, race, class, ability and pay inequities firmly in place.

Doing IT asks critical questions about the so-called information revolution: Just how are women faring in this much-hyped industry? Is women’s knowledge valued in the “knowledge economy”? What does technological skill really involve, and who is seen to possess it? How can women IT professionals move ahead in their careers so that they too shape and direct the future of information technologies? Drawing on personal interviews as well as recent Canadian data, Scott-Dixon shows that despite obstacles, women in IT bring passion to their jobs and draw on their wit, intelligence and resourcefulness to shape their career paths.

Scott-Dixon has been at York since 1991, from an undergrad in the Faculty of Fine Arts, through to receiving her PhD in 2002 from York’s School of Women’s Studies. Currently she supervises the development of a research database on gender and work in the School of Social Sciences, Atkinson Faculty of Liberal & Professional Studies, and teaches a third-year course on women and technology.