A Piquant Element in a Male-Dominated World : A study of women and career in the ICT Industry

University essay from KTH/Organisation och ledning; KTH/Organisation och ledning

Abstract:

During recent years, countries and societies around the world have acknowledged questions regarding gender equality and diversity, and these issues are nowadays put on the agenda for both governments and business executives. Knowledge about gender equality and its positive effects has spread down to organizations and individuals, and existing research about gender equality is often built upon or put in relation to the phenomena of organizational culture. The Swedish society and especially the Swedish ICT industry have acknowledged the importance of having a gender-balanced organization, but for many organizations the question stays as a thought of mind and small or few actions are made to change the current .gender-balanced The purpose of the thesis is to identify and discuss aspects of gender equality for companies within the ICT industry, and to examine how an organization’s culture is involved in current imbalance of gender distribution. The research question is formulated as follows: Which opportunities and downfalls exist for women’s career development within the ICT industry? One of the starting points of the study is that gender is seen as a social construction, and that gender is created through society structures, segregation and hierarchy. This creates gendered power relations in society that are intertwined with organizational power relations. Further, the study builds upon the fact that organizations should be seen as gendered because of the power perspective and the belief that conditions are different for men and women and that there is a constant amount of power that needs to be shared. A case study of a specific region in an international ICT company has been carried out by mapping the company’s gender structure, and by conducting interviews with employees within the region. The conclusion is that career development within the company is gendered and based on male prerequisites and working conditions, which constitutes a downfall for women’s career development.

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