Developing Computing and Technology Leaders: How Undergraduate Women Make Meaning of Their Leadership Experiences

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Women remain underrepresented in both the computing major and leadership positions in the tech field. This article utilizes a feminist phenomenological framework and mixed methods approach to provide insight into these inequities, focusing on women’s leadership perceptions and experiences in the computing major over time. Relying on survey data from nearly 300 women computing majors and interviews conducted with a subset of participants, findings reveal that, while women describe being actively engaged in leadership within their major, their computing leadership confidence declines over time. These inconsistencies may be explained by the sexism and stereotypical dynamics that women experience in computing classrooms, particularly within the group settings where they serve as leaders. Other findings highlight possible opportunities to mitigate women’s declining leadership confidence, pointing to the role of identity-based computing conferences and computing faculty mentorship in positively predicting leadership confidence among women in computing.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)204-227
Number of pages24
JournalJournal of Women and Gender in Higher Education
Volume14
Issue number2
DOIs
StatePublished - 2021

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Education

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