Gender Differentials in School Computer Technology Support Roles: An Analysis

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Journal of Educational Technology Systems

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Previous research on the attitudes of girls and women toward information technology indicates that they hold negative perceptions about their own computer use capabilities. These beliefs, combined with media influences predominantly portraying men in technology roles, often persuade women to choose non-technology related careers. This study looks at the presence and role of women in school technology support roles by surveying technology coordinators (n = 129) from the upper plains region of the United States. Data on job responsibilities, professional training, training quality, and task proficiency are gathered. Analysis shows that women are disproportionately underrepresented in school technology support roles. Where equivalent training, experience, and job expectations exist, women are also under-compensated. A discussion follows suggesting that more women in the very visible school technology support role can be extremely influential in building beliefs among school-age girls that information technology careers are within their reach.