Women in the Male-dominated Technology Sector

By: Madison Winter Kurchik  

There are many studies about women in the workplace, especially those in male-dominated fields, that identify confidence as a challenge. This paper investigates how women who work in the technology sector characterize themselves, and their efficacy, at different stages in their career. Eighteen qualitative life-history interviews are examined through Interpretative Phenomenological Analysis (IPA). The contributions of this study are twofold. First, by centring women’s experiences and voices, this study goes beyond simply identifying confidence as an issue. In fact, the women participants describe a plethora of complex factors that impact their confidence, as well as ways they have attempted to rectify low confidence. Second, the novel empirical illustrations in this study yield opportunities for organizations to better themselves and become more inclusive.

Women, Gender, Confidence, Organizations, Technology
Organizational Diversity
Paper Presentation in a Themed Session

Madison Winter Kurchik

University of Edinburgh, United Kingdom
United Kingdom

It is with honest bewilderment with our world and an instinct for sense making that Madison approaches her doctoral degree. A recent preoccupation of her bewilderment is the concept of the “post labour” world. A major proponent of this idea is well respected author and historian, Yuval Harari. He believes that computers and artificial intelligence will render humans economically irrelevant, and he is certain this will happen relatively soon. Madison is not completely convinced, but is intrigued. What will this “post labour” world look like, and mean for us humans? On a personal level, what does it mean to perform doctoral research in a field that may very well be obsolete in a century or two's time? In her eyes, the rapidity at which change will occur to the nature of labour, and in turn the study of industrial relations and human resources, is the ultimate academic opportunity. Madison locates her research within this emerging academic framework, where adaptability is of the utmost necessity. Therefore, she strives to combine the characteristics of her academic heroes: Judith Butler’s innovation, William Roche’s astounding breadth of expertise, and Gibson Burrell’s tenacious pushing of boundaries.