Influencing the Influencers: The Role of Mothers in IT Career Choices

Rosemary Stockdale, Therese Keane
Journal of Information Technology Education: Innovations in Practice  •  Volume 15  •  2016  •  pp. 181-194
This paper reports on the outcomes from a pilot study targeted at mothers of school children in Melbourne, Australia. The aim of the study was to engender a positive view of technology in the participants and to introduce the concept of Information Technology (IT) as a potential career. Mothers were given the opportunity to develop basic IT skills and learn about different IT career pathways for their children with an emphasis on their daughters’ choices. Mothers were offered an evening course over a four week period that was designed to introduce them to a range of social media and Web 2.0 tools. Their opinions were documented using both questionnaires and informal discussions. It explored whether their attitudes towards IT can be changed by up-skilling and introducing them to the technologies their children commonly use. The findings of the pilot study suggest that addressing this demographic has the potential to make the participants question their pre-conceptions about IT careers for women.
gender and IT, information technology professionals, mothers, parental influences
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