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  • Print publication year: 2019
  • Online publication date: October 2019

6 - Factors Influencing Women’s Ability to Enter the Information Technology Workforce

from Part II - Regional Perspectives


This chapter focuses on five countries, assessing the economic, cultural, infrastructural, and policy factors influencing women’s ability to enter the IT workforce. The National Assessments on Gender, Science, Technology and Innovation, coordinated by Women in Global Science and Technology (WISAT), is a cross-national research project analyzing country-level data to assess the readiness for and participation of girls and women in a global world defined by knowledge. The assessments look at health, social status, safety and security, economic status, resources, agency, and opportunity and capability dimensions of women’s lives in the context of an enabling policy environment, in order to assess the implications for and outcomes related to women’s participation in knowledge-related sectors, decision-making, and education. Recently, five national studies were undertaken in East and West Africa – Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda, Senegal, and Uganda. These studies found the economic, policy, and cultural factors affecting women’s participation in the IT workforce to vary considerably. While there are commonalities, these differences in national context result in different patterns of female participation in the STEM labor force.