Womenand Information Technology in Ireland
Womenand Information Technology in Ireland
Irelandincreased employment in the IT sector by attracting internationallymobile routine office works. The office works in the IT sector arecharacterized by low pay, women-dominance, high turnover rate, anddifficult working conditions (Cross & Linehan, 2006). It isestimated that over 75 % women working in the IT sector in Irelandtake clerical jobs.
Slide2: Economic-pay gap
TheIT sector in Ireland is characterized by an extremely high pay-gapbetween male and female employees. For example, the starting salaryin the customer care sub-sector, which is dominated by women, is IR£10,000-12,000 (Breathnach, 2002). This is quite less compared to anaverage starting salary for employee working in industry or technicalsub-sectors within the IT sector, who earn about IR£ 14,000. Inaddition, the starting salary in the telesales and technical sector,which have a higher number of male employees, is higher by IR£1,000-2,000.
Slide3: Economic-causes of economic gap
Thepay gap between men and women working in the IT sector in Ireland canbe attributed to two factors. The first is the fact that women inIreland are inclined to language courses as opposed to men who arecourageous enough to undertake technical courses. For example, datashow that only 14 % of the Irish women take degree courses intechnical courses, while only 5 % of them undertake non-degreecourses in the IT-related technical fields (Breathnach, 2002).Secondly, many women end up taking clerical jobs compared to men whotake technical jobs that earn more salaries.
Slide4: Social-work-life balance
Theissue of work-life balance affects Irish women disproportionatelybecause they are expected to balance between their work and the timethey spend with their families. This violated the principle of socialjustice, given that men working in the IT sector have enough time forsocial affairs and for advancing their career. Although many ITcompanies in Ireland have developed family-friendly policies thatallow women to do part of the work from home and take leaves toaddress family issues, it is only 5 out of 1,500 women access theserights (Cross & Linehan, 2006). Some Irish women also feel thatclerical jobs in the IT sector allow them to make a living andaddress family matters.
Slide5: Networking and mentoring
Mostof the high ranking and well paying jobs are earned by people whohave networks and mentors in the field of IT. Women lack the twofactors, since networks are established outside the working hourswhile the majority of available mentors are men who are accessible towomen. The lack of networks and mentors deny Irish women thevisibility, support, and upward mobility in the process of developinga career in the IT sector.
Slide6: Culture-organizational policies
Policiesthat guide operations in the IT sector in Ireland are formulated bymale dominated management teams. Consequently, these policiesfacilitate the recruitment of employees on the basis of who would beexpected by culture to assume technical roles, instead of focusing onthe academic qualifications (Cross & Linehan, 2006). The policiesalso favor employees who are more likely to be compatible with theincumbent male-dominated management teams.
Slide7: Culture-traditional beliefs
Womenin Ireland assume disproportionately more responsibilities at homesand childcare, which deny them the opportunity to pursue careers inthe IT sector since they are quite demanding. In addition, themajority of women in Ireland become prime professional jobs in the ITat a time when the society expects them to juggle with their youngfamilies and take care of their ageing parents (Cross & Linehan,2006).
TheIT sector in Ireland provides more jobs to women than men. However,most of the women assume the least paying jobs in the IT sector. Inaddition, Ireland women face the guilt of spending less time withtheir families, which discourage them from pursuing important careersand management roles in the IT sector. Moreover, their lack ofnetwork and mentors deny women access to high-ranking careers in theIT sector.
Breathnach,P. (2002). Information Technology, Gender Segmentation and theRelocation of Back Office Employment: The Growth of the TeleservicesSector in Ireland. Information,Communication & Society,5 (3), 320-335.
Cross,C. & Linehan, M. (2006). Barriers to advancing female careers inthe high-tech sector: empirical evidence from Ireland. Womenin Management Review,21 (1), 28-39.