Too Few Women in Higher Ed IT: Now What?


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This presentation to the 2012 annual EDUCAUSE conference describes the state of women's participation in higher education technology occupations, and what can be done to increase and advance women in university and college IT careers.

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Too Few Women in Higher Ed IT: Now What?

  1. 1. Too Few Women in IT: 
Now What?!EDUCAUSE 2012 :: Friday, November 9"Lucy Sanders: CEO, National Center for Women & InformationTechnology (NCWIT)!Deborah Keyek-Franssen: Director of Academic Technology,University of Colorado at Boulder; Co-director, ColoradoCoalition for Gender and IT (CCGIT)!
  2. 2. Women in IT: Why Do They Matter?" Women’s participation …" " »  Reflects the user base" »  Enhances innovation, creativity" »  Expands the qualified talent pool " »  Benefits the bottom line"
  3. 3. Women Reflect the User Base" »  Women compose +50% of college students! ! »  Women compose +50% of higher ed faculty and staff! National Center for Education Statistics (NCES) Integrated Postsecondary Education Data, 2011. NCES: Employees in degree-granting institutions, by sex, employment status, control and level of institution, and primary occupation: Selected years, fall 1989 through fall 2009. !
  4. 4. Women Enhance Innovation" “There’s little correlation between a group’s collective intelligence and the IQs of its individual members. But if a group includes more women, its collective intelligence rises.”! Source: “Evidence for a Collective Intelligence Factor in the Performance of Human Groups,” Science October 2010, Anita Williams Woolley, Christopher F. Chabris, Alex Pentland, Nada Hashmi and Thomas W. Malone !
  5. 5. Women Expand the Talent Pool" "We simply cannot afford to alienate large chunks of the workforce. It is a widely understood truth that the single biggest challenge is attracting the right people …" " to literally handicap yourself by 50 percent is insanity.”" " - Dan Shapiro, Google!
  6. 6. Women Benefit the Bottom Line"Gender diversity yields:!!»  Better, faster problem- solving!»  More experimental, more efficient teams!»  Higher return on investment Sources: Workplace Diversity Pays, American Sociological Review (2009), Capitalizing on Thought Diversity, Research- Technology Management (2009), The Difference, Scott Page (2007), Innovative Potential, London Business School (2007), The Bottom Line, Catalyst (2004)!
  7. 7. Women in Higher Ed IT: The Numbers" Percent of higher education “Technology 37" Leader” positions held by women" Percent of higher education CIOs who are 23" women" Sources: Brown, Wayne: “Study of the Higher Education Chief Information Officer Roles and Effectiveness,” Center for Higher Education Chief Information Officer Studies, Inc. (CHECS), 2011; Bureau of Labor Current Population Survey, 2011; Bloomberg Businessweek, October 2012. !
  8. 8. University of Colorado: The Numbers" Percent of women in the central IT shop" 22" Percent of women in Help Desk, TCOM, AT" 9" 9" Percent of women in PMO, Ops, Tier 2/3" 4" Percent of women in non-technical support positions"
  9. 9. Women in Higher Ed IT Are Declining" Percent of female CIOs aged 41-45 20" who plan to retire in next decade" Percent of male CIOs aged 41-45 who 7" plan to retire in next decade" Source: Brown, Wayne: “Study of the Higher Education Chief Information Officer Roles and Effectiveness,” Center for Higher Education Chief Information Officer Studies, Inc. (CHECS), 2011. !
  10. 10. Women Who Could Lead … Don’t" Percent of female Technology Leaders 48" who aspire to be CIO" Percent of male Technology Leaders 68" who aspire to be CIO" Source: Brown, Wayne: “Study of the Higher Education Chief Information Officer Roles and Effectiveness,” Center for Higher Education Chief Information Officer Studies, Inc. (CHECS), 2011. !
  11. 11. The Double Challenge for Women" “As higher education institutions continue to be dominated by male leadership and male hegemonies, women pursuing careers in academic leadership roles find themselves disadvantaged.”" " “Women similarly find themselves disadvantaged as they pursue technical or leadership roles in IT organizations.”Source: “Women Technology Leaders: Gender Issues in Higher Education Information Technology,” NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, 2011. !
  12. 12. The Lack of Women Matters MoreNow Because IT Matters More Now" »  Schools increasingly look to IT to provide competitive services, reduce costs, solve problems! »  Technology occupations are growing faster than the norm! »  The talent pipeline for IT jobs is falling short! »  Women are a mostly untapped talent pool!
  13. 13. So: Why So Few Women?"è Unconscious bias"è Lack of mentors and professional development"è Supervisory relationships"è Bias in performance reviews and promotion"è Lack of support for competing life responsibilities"Source: “Women Technology Leaders: Gender Issues in Higher Education Information Technology,” NASPA Journal About Women in Higher Education, 2011. !
  14. 14. Unconscious Bias Starts in Society"
  15. 15. Unconscious Bias: What Is It?" “Schemas” help us make sense of the world, but they also cause us to misinterpret, leading to bias. !
  16. 16. What Do You See In This Picture?" " "
  17. 17. Unconscious Bias Salient in OrgsDominated by a Single Group" Society Organizational Culture Subtle Institutional Schemas/ Unconscious Dynamics Barriers Biases Employees
  18. 18. Subtle Dynamics: What Are They?" Ex 1: Stereotype Threat Fear of confirming a negative stereotype Ex 2: Micro-inequities Being singled out, ignored, or discounted based on race or gender
  19. 19. Bias: Stereotype Threat" Example: White male engineering students score lower when told in advance that Asians typically score higher on math tests Source: Aronson, et al., 1999; Steele & Aronson, 1998!
  20. 20. How Stereotype Threat Can ImpactWomen"»  Don’t speak up in meetings!»  Reluctant to take leadership positions !»  Discount their performance!
  21. 21. Bias: Micro-inequities"»  Slights!»  Unacknowledged accomplishments!»  Isolation and lack of networks!»  Exclusion!
  22. 22. Institutional Barriers: What Are They?HiringSelecting people “like me”Task AssignmentWomen in “low status” jobsPerformance AppraisalMen – effort, individual & technical skillWomen – luck, strength of team, collaboration, easyassignmentsPromotionCriteria modeled implicitly on existing senior male leaders
  23. 23. Bias in Performance Appraisal" JohnBoth male and female Doe Janescientists gave the male Doecandidate betterassessments, said theywould be more likely tohire the male candidate,and offered the malecandidate a highersalary. !" Moss-Racusin, Dovidio, Brescoll, Graham, and Handelsman: "Science faculty’s subtle gender biases" favor male students," Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, 2012. 109: 16474-16479.!
  24. 24. Bias in Hiring" When orchestras began “blind” auditions with musicians behind a curtain (and asked candidates to remove their shoes), it increased by 50 percent the probability that women would advance out of preliminary rounds.! Hires of female musicians increased by 25-46 percent. ! !Goldin & Rouse (2000) The American Economic Review, 90(4),715-741.!
  25. 25. Organizations Influence andReinforce Bias"Organizational biasesreflect external andinternal culture""We perpetuate thestatus quo whennothing in the situationforces us to questionour assumptions"
  26. 26. So: How Do We Fix This?"
  27. 27. Concrete Steps to Increase Women’sParticipation"➔  Establish accountability metrics!➔  Train supervisors!➔  Remove bias from performance appraisal processes!➔  Model personal engagement, sponsorship➔  Foster inclusive team meetings and culture!➔  Provide recognition, credit, encouragement!
  28. 28. What to Do When You Get Home"»  Examine task assignment and performance reviews for bias"»  *Sponsor* underrepresented groups on the technical career path (note that this is not the same as mentoring)"»  Examine your actions for self-limiting behaviors or beliefs"»  Provide encouragement"
  29. 29. NCWIT Can Help"
  30. 30. NCWIT Research-backed Resources" è Supervisory Program-in-a-Box Series! è Mentoring Technical Women Program-in-a-Box! è Top Ten Ways to Be a Male Advocate for Technical Women! è Top 10 Ways Managers Can Increase the Visibility of Technical Women!
  31. 31. More Free NCWIT Resources" Practices" Boxes" Talking Points Workbooks " " Top Ten" Reports"
  32. 32. "At a university, people learn from each other.!“Diverse groups of people bring to organizationsmore and different ways of seeing a problem and,thus, faster/better ways of solving it.!!“Im not making political statements …These aremathematical results.”!!- Scott E. Page!
  33. 33. What Are YOU Going to DoWhen You Get Home?"