The purpose of this phenomenological qualitative research study was to investigate the experiences of women in the field of computer science to gain a better understanding of the obstacles that prevent them from enjoying lengthy successful careers in the field. This research study sample represented 10 women from various parts of the country holding many titles but sharing the common denominator of working in the field of computer science. Women participating in this study provided valuable insight into the challenges that many women face within the field of computer science and STEM as a whole. Atkinson’s Expectancy Value Theory (EVT) served as the theoretical basis for this study. Data was gathered by way of personal interviews that were conducted by phone. As a result of these interviews five major themes were developed: (a) Role models, (b) Mentoring, (c) Training opportunities, (d) Lack of support, and (e) Sexual harassment. Mentoring was suggested as a recommendation for practice. Recommendations for future research included (a) an ethnographic study following girls and women over a progressive period of time to better understand how developmental experiences impact decisions to pursue STEM fields, (b) a qualitative study to explore schools and universities who have achieved success in STEM programs for girls and women to understand the nuances involved in creating diverse programs, and (c) a qualitative study involving the families of successful women in STEM to better understand their perceptions and the roles they played in providing support.
|Commitee:||Demeter, Lori, Sopko, Leila|
|Department:||School of Business and Technology Management|
|School Location:||United States -- California|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/7(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Public administration, Information Technology, Computer science, Womens studies, Science education|
|Keywords:||Computer science, EVT, Information technology, STEM, Underrepresentation, Women in STEM|
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