Interpretations of Gender Bias in the Technology Sector

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Abstract

Through the release of diversity reports, technology firms such as Apple, Facebook, Google, and Twitter have revealed bias in their hiring and promotion practices. Women and people of color occupy a limited presence within these firms and this issue becomes more acute at executive leadership levels. Given the widespread nature of this phenomenon, insights and commentary have been advanced in attempts to better understand, and in some instances, correct the imbalance. Popular remedies for this issue include examining corporate cultures that are representative of organizational values, making financial arguments about the utility of members from under-represented groups, and appealing to the need for fairness and equality in the workplace. While both executives and employees of technology firms have provided perspective on the imbalance among workers, little is known about those embarking on careers in the technology sector. Insights about these individuals are salient since they are in the pipeline and comprise the next generation of technology workers, managers, and executives. The focus of the study is to examine the organizational attractiveness and equality of opportunity attitudes held by graduate students in Computer Science (CS), Information Technology and Informatics (IT&I), and Management Information Systems (MIS) given the reported bias in technology firms. The study will examine whether there are academic discipline-based differences in organizational attractiveness and equality of opportunity attitudes. The study will also explore whether gender differences exist in attitudes toward organizational attractiveness and equality of opportunity. Using the ANOVA technique, attitudinal differences toward organizational attractiveness based on academic discipline and gender will be examined. The findings of the study will provide a perspective of those in the pipeline to work in the information technology sector. This insight will increase the knowledge-base of hiring managers and executives as they embark on attracting and recruiting employees.