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European Journal of Information Systems
ISSN: 0960-085X (Print) 1476-9344 (Online) Journal homepage: http://www.tandfonline.com/loi/tjis20
Directions for research on gender imbalance in the
Elena Gorbacheva, Jenine Beekhuyzen, Jan vom Brocke & Jörg Becker
To cite this article: Elena Gorbacheva, Jenine Beekhuyzen, Jan vom Brocke & Jörg Becker
(2018): Directions for research on gender imbalance in the IT profession, European Journal of
Information Systems, DOI: 10.1080/0960085X.2018.1495893
To link to this article: https://doi.org/10.1080/0960085X.2018.1495893
© 2018 The Author(s). Published by Informa
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Published online: 17 Sep 2018.
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ISSUES AND OPINION
Directions for research on gender imbalance in the IT profession
, Jenine Beekhuyzen
, Jan vom Brocke
and Jörg Becker
European Research Center for Information Systems, University of Muenster, Muenster, Germany;
Institute for Integrated and
Intelligent Systems, Griﬃth University, Nathan, Queensland, Australia;
Institute of Information Systems, University of Liechtenstein,
There is a signiﬁcant shortage of expert Information Technology (IT) personnel in Europe and
elsewhere and a marked under-representation of women in the ﬁeld. This paper identiﬁes
important gaps in research on gender imbalance in the IT profession and motivates future
Information Systems research to address each of them. First among these gaps is the lack of
research on the far-reaching consequences of gender imbalance in the IT profession. Second,
despite a considerable body of research, there is the lack of coherent explanation for this
imbalance. Third, although many intervention programmes have been implemented in this
area, gender diversity in practice has not improved signiﬁcantly. This research ﬁeld also
requires theorisation based on the cumulative research eﬀorts in the ﬁeld, comparative
studies in various contexts, and longitudinal studies. We point to opportunities to investigate
each of these issues and recommend directions for future research and actionable research
Gender; diversity; inclusion;
IT profession; gender and IS
research; future directions
Rationale and method
Over the past 20 years, the number of jobs in the
Information Technology (IT) ﬁeld has increased
rapidly, increasing demand for qualiﬁed IT profes-
sionals. According to the European Commission
(2017), the gap between supply and demand of IT-
skilled labour is likely to reach 500,000 by 2020. This
challenge has been discussed in the academic
Information Systems (IS) literature, which highlights
consistently low numbers of IT/IS graduates (e.g.,
Downey, Bartczak, Young, & England, 2016;
McLachlan, Craig, & Coldwell-Neilson, 2016; von
Hellens, Trauth, & Fisher, 2012). At the same time,
although women are 51% of the population in Europe
and 47% of the workforce (Eurostat, 2016), they
represent only around 16.7% of employed IT specia-
lists (Eurostat Press Oﬃce, 2017). Therefore, women
are a promising group to be encouraged to join the IT
profession. Achievement of this objective is facilitated
by the advancement of new kinds of work enabled by
IT, such as teleworking, which provide opportunities
for both women and men to balance work and family
life (e.g., Boell, Campbell, Cecez-Kecmanovic, &
Cheng, 2013; Greenhill & Wilson, 2006). For more
than 20 years, many countries have undertaken inter-
ventions aimed at increasing gender diversity in IT
education, academia, and the workforce (“interven-
tions”hereafter), yet little progress has been made
(e.g., Craig, 2015; Loiacono, Iyer, Armstrong,
Beekhuyzen, & Craig, 2016; Trauth, 2017). We
believe that IS research has an opportunity to con-
tribute to addressing the challenge of gender imbal-
ance in the IT profession by explaining its causes and
consequences and identifying eﬀective interventions.
In so doing, research would demonstrate the IS dis-
cipline’s usefulness in solving important societal and
economic challenges. This “Issues and Opinion”arti-
cle proposes six directions for research on gender
imbalance in the IT profession, each accompanied
by actionable research questions, to guide future
research eﬀorts in the ﬁeld.
Our argumentation is based on a review of the extant
literature and our own practical experience from several
research projects in this ﬁeld and involvement in related
interventions. (Details are provided in Appendix A,
Tables A-1 and A-2.)Theliteraturereviewfollows
Rowe’s(2014,p.246)calltoreacha“good or reasonable
coverage [of literature] rather than a comprehensive one
that would make a review process at best ephemeral if
not unachievable.”As a starting point, we investigated
how the topic was considered in the “core”IS outlets –
theSeniorScholars’Basket of Journals (“the Basket of
Journals”hereafter (AIS Senior Scholar Consortium,
2011)). We conducted the collection and analysis of the
literature systematically based on Bandara and colleagues
(2015), beginning with the Basket of Journals based on
Hirschheim and Klein’s(2012, pp. 216–217) argument
that it recognises the “diversity inherent in IS research
[through] (1) the rigorousness of the review process, (2)
the composition of the editorial board (members must be
widely respected and recognised), and (3) the existence
CONTACT Elena Gorbacheva email@example.com
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS
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This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives License (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-nc-
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upon in any way.
of an international readership and contribution.”The
papers published in the Basket of Journals also reﬂect
the core research interests of the IS discipline.
This review identiﬁed 16 studies on gender
imbalance in the IT profession (Appendix A,
Table A-3). Although not the focus of this study,
additional studies covering other topics related to
gender and IS research (Appendix A, Tables A-4
and A-5)werealsoidentiﬁed in the Basket of
Journals. Next, we searched specialised outlets that
address gender imbalance in the IT profession out-
side the Basket of Journals (Appendix A, Table A-
1). We also used Google Scholar (http://scholar.goo
gle.com) to perform a forward search for all of the
identiﬁed relevant studies to reveal the most recent
research eﬀorts in the ﬁeld. This iterative approach
to reviewing the literature provided a comprehen-
sive view of the state of the research ﬁeld, current
issues in the ﬁeld, and suggested directions for
The remainder of the paper ﬁrst provides a
brief theoretical background on the topic. We
then identify and discuss the issues in research
on gender imbalance in the IT profession, for
which we propose directions for future research.
Finally, we discuss these directions and summarise
the key ideas, contributions, and limitations of the
IS research considers the topic of gender primarily
from two opposing perspectives: that of IT users’
acceptance and IT-related behaviour or that of
diversity and social inclusion in the IT workforce
(Craig, 2015; Loiacono et al., 2016;Ridley&
Young, 2012). The former focuses on gender as
an inﬂuence on IS design, use, and impact, while
and the wider workforce. This paper addresses the
latter area, particularly the gender composition of
the IT workforce. The main theoretical approaches
followed in the areas of gender and IS research
include gender essentialism, the social construction
of gender, and gender intersectionality (in order of
concepts of gender and sex to be synonymous,
and men and women to be fundamentally diﬀerent
because of their biological and psychological attri-
butes. According to essentialist research, these fun-
damental diﬀerences result in, for instance,
diﬀerences in how men and women use technology
and diﬀerences in the professions men and women
choose. Gender essentialism was the dominant
approach to studying gender in IS until recently
(e.g., Kvasny, Greenhill, & Trauth, 2005). The
earliest papers on gender imbalance in the IT pro-
fession stem from this perspective (e.g., Baroudi &
Igbaria, 1995; Igbaria & Baroudi, 1995;Truman&
Baroudi, 1994) and take the view of western trends
breadwinners (e.g., Baskerville, 2007). These studies
often present the outcomes of quantitative studies
and are usually limited to collecting and reporting
on descriptive statistics (e.g., the percentage of
women involved in the IT industry) but do not
apply or generate any gender theory (Trauth,
2013). The essentialist approach to studying gender
and IS is rightfully criticised as untenable and sim-
plistic and as reinforcing inaccurate gender stereo-
types (e.g., Howcroft & Trauth, 2008;Ridley&
Theories of social construction reject essential-
ist views in favour of explaining the many
human-capital-related issues in IS and how IT
work is organised. The social construction of gen-
der perspective considers gender to be a socially
formed construct, as opposed to a matter of biol-
ogy, and addresses the socially constructed diﬀer-
ences between men and women. These theories
positthatanindividual’s actions are products of
the culture in which he or she was born and
raised (Berger & Luckmann, 1966) and that peo-
ple are socialised to adhere to society’snorms.
The turn of the millennium saw a move to these
theories to explain women’s lack of participation
in the IT workforce, when a string of studies
presenting this perspective appeared in the IS
research (e.g., Ahuja, 2002; Robertson, Newell,
Swan, Mathiassen, & Bjerknes, 2001). As women
are often socialised towards the teaching and nur-
sing professions, and menareoftensocialised
towards more technical careers, such as the IT
profession, the IT industry is largely constructed
socially as a male domain (von Hellens & Nielsen,
2001). At the same time anything constructed by
society can also be changed (Wilson, 2004).
Social construction of gender is criticised for its
lack of critical attention to the diﬀerences within, not
just between, genders, which is necessary to under-
stand individual experiences. As a result, the gender
intersectionality approach emerged to develop the
Individual Diﬀerences Theory of Gender and IT
(e.g., Quesenberry & Trauth, 2012; Trauth, 2002;
Trauth, Quesenberry, & Huang, 2009). Development
of this approach was triggered by the new technolo-
gies and new kinds of work (such as teleworking) that
have facilitated changes in how work is operationa-
lised in the IT context (e.g., Greenhill & Wilson,
2006). Insights into gender intersectionality are surfa-
cing but have not yet been explored in depth
2E. GORBACHEVA ET AL.
Based on the literature review and our practical
experience, we identiﬁed three issues in the research
on gender imbalance in the IT profession to which we
believe the IS discipline has an opportunity to
Issue 1: Lack of research on the consequences of
gender imbalance in the IT profession
In and beyond the IS community lies a percep-
tion that the current gender distribution in the IT
workforce is “normal”and that no eﬀort is
required to change it, which is discussed by, for
instance, Villa and Ayoub (2016) and Kirton and
Robertson (2018) and evidenced anecdotally. This
view is also reﬂected in the paltry 16 articles
published in the Basket of Journals on gender
imbalance in the IT profession, which is less
than 0.25% of more than seven thousand studies
published there. What’s more, none of these stu-
dies investigate the consequences of this imbalance
(Appendix A, Table A-3). As Loiacono et al.
(2016,p.797)pointout,“If we do not acknowl-
edge that a problem exists, we cannot ever hope to
solve it.”Therefore, we propose that future
research investigate the consequences of gender
imbalance in the IT profession.
Issue 2: Lack of coherent explanation for gender
imbalance in the IT profession
The literature review shows that, while many stu-
dies published since the early 1980s address why so
few women study or work in IT (e.g., von Hellens
et al., 2012), there is still no consensus on these
factors. Some suggest that the challenge is too com-
plex and context-dependent (e.g., Ridley & Young,
2012; Trauth & Quesenberry, 2006), while others
propose their own frameworks of factors instead of
building on each other’s work and contributing to a
wider body of knowledge (e.g., Khalil, Nayab, Naeed,
Khan, & Khalil, 2015; Kindsiko & Türk, 2017; Nelson
& Veltri, 2011). Therefore, future research should
seek to identify and come to some consensus on the
factors that cause gender imbalance in the IT profes-
sion as a prerequisite for developing successful inter-
ventions to address this challenge.
Issue 3: Lack of impact of interventions that address
gender imbalance in the IT profession
Despite many countries’eﬀorts to solve the problem
of gender imbalance in the IT industry over the past 20
years, all of which required considerable human and
ﬁnancial resources, the number of women working in
IT or enrolling in IT programmes at universities remains
low (e.g., Annabi & Lebovitz, 2018;EurostatPressOﬃce,
2017). The share of women in IT at each next career stage
continues to decrease (the “shrinking pipeline”phenom-
enon (Camp, 1997)
the IT workforce at a high rate (e.g., Annabi & Lebovitz,
2018; Armstrong, Riemenschneider, & Giddens 2018;
NCWIT, 2015;Trauth,2017). While the number of
women in IT could have been even lower in the absence
of these interventions, there is a need for further inves-
tigation into why they have not changed the situation
and what alternative interventions could be more
In summary, the three issues related to gaps in the
research deal with the consequences of gender imbal-
ance in the IT profession (Issue 1), the factors that
cause it (Issue 2), and solutions to address it (Issue 3).
Among the studies published in the Basket of Journals
(Appendix A, Table A-3), none address Issue 1, while
10 address Issue 2 (Ahuja, 2002; Armstrong et al.,
2018; Baroudi & Igbaria, 1995; Igbaria & Baroudi,
1995; Kirton & Robertson, 2018; Panteli, Stack,
Atkinson, & Ramsay, 1999; Reid, Allen, Armstrong
& Riemenschneider, 2010; Robertson et al., 2001;
Trauth et al., 2009; Truman & Baroudi, 1994), and
six address Issue 3 (Annabi & Lebovitz, 2018;
Clayton, Beekhuyzen, & Nielsen, 2012; Craig, 2015;
Panteli, 2012; Quesenberry & Trauth, 2012; Ridley &
Directions for future research
The directions for future research on gender imbal-
ance in the IT profession and suggested research
questions to address each of the identiﬁed issues are
summarised in Table 1.
Directions to address Issue 1: Lack of research on
the consequences of gender imbalance in the IT
Direction 1.1. Collect, analyse, and disseminate
comprehensive statistics and data on gender
distribution in the IT profession
The discourse on gender imbalance in the IT profes-
sion must be based on facts. Therefore, comprehen-
sive worldwide statistics on gender distribution in the
IT profession must be collected, analysed, and disse-
minated to enhance the awareness and understanding
of the issue. Fragmentary statistics show that this
challenge might be less acute or even irrelevant for
some countries. For instance, while in Western socie-
ties women are under-represented in the IT profes-
sion (e.g., European Commission, 2016; U.S. Bureau
of Labor Statistics, 2013; van Welsum & Montagnier,
2007; VCAA, 2014), the situation diﬀers in other
cultural and economic contexts like India
(Government of India, 2015; Varma, 2016), post-
Communist countries (e.g., Trauth, 2002), and coun-
tries with high gender inequality in society (Stoet &
Geary, 2018). Some countries’statistics might not be
well-documented and reﬂected in IS research, so the
documentation or even collection of the statistics
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 3
might be required as a ﬁrst step. If only high-level
statistics are available –for instance, in China IT is
part of the engineering and technology category, in
the US it is part of computer and mathematical
occupations, in Australia and New Zealand it is part
of business faculty, and in some European countries
it is aggregated with the natural sciences –it is
necessary to single out the statistics about the IT
ﬁeld in speciﬁc. The next step is to collect and analyse
detailed statistics for the various job areas in the IT
profession in order ensure contributions are directed
and speciﬁc. Comprehensive statistics on gender
Table 1. Directions for future research on gender imbalance in the IT profession and suggested research questions.
Directions for future research Suggested research questions
Issue 1: Lack of research on the consequences of gender imbalance in the IT profession.
1.1. Collect, analyse, and disseminate comprehensive statistics
and data on gender distribution in the IT profession.
- What is the worldwide gender distribution in the IT profession, in particular job
categories in the IT profession, and in the ﬁelds adjacent to IT? To what extent
does gender distribution in the IT profession diﬀer from that in non-IT
- What is the gender distribution in the IS research ﬁeld (AIS members, editors of
leading IS journals, authors of top-tier IS publications, keynote speakers at IS
- How do indicators of career success (salary, job level, promotability, etc.) diﬀer
between male and female IT professionals? How do these diﬀerences vary by
1.2. Investigate the implications of gender imbalance in the IT
- How does gender diversity in IT teams aﬀect teams’innovativeness and
- How does gender diversity in IT design teams aﬀect the IT artefacts they create?
- How does gender diversity in managerial positions aﬀect IT organisations’
- To what extent do IT professionals value employing organisations’support of
gender equality, diversity, and work-family balance?
- What are the consequences of gender diversity in IT teams in combination with
other forms of diversity (e.g., ethnicity, cultural background, age)?
- To what extent does (implicit) gender discrimination remain in the IT ﬁeld?
- How can the awareness of the importance of gender balance in the IT
profession be raised?
Issue 2: Lack of coherent explanation for gender imbalance in the IT profession.
2.1. Examine the Individual Diﬀerences Theory of Gender and IT
- What is the state of the published research on operationalisation and testing of
diﬀerent factors of IDT? What are the respective research gaps?
- What are the appropriate measurement instruments for the not yet
operationalised factors of IDT?
- What IDT factors have the highest impact on women’s IT career intentions,
choices, persistence, and advancement in diﬀerent contexts?
2.2. Conduct a comparative analysis of existing models of the
factors that cause gender imbalance in the IT profession.
- How do existing models of the factors that cause gender imbalance in the IT
profession overlap, and how do they diﬀer?
- How do the barriers that women in IT face in diﬀerent contexts develop over
- What is the state of the published research on the study programmes and
occupations that women evaluate and select as alternatives to IT? What are the
research gaps? What are the beneﬁts of these alternatives for women that are
lacking in IT study and work?
- What are the diﬀerences between the factors that inﬂuence women to stay in
the IT workforce and those that inﬂuence them to leave?
Issue 3: Lack of impact of interventions that address gender imbalance in the IT profession.
3.1. Investigate the reasons behind interventions’lack of
- What interventions have been implemented? What speciﬁc problems do these
interventions intend to solve?
- Why have the interventions been ineﬀective? How does the presence of
intervention evaluations aﬀect their eﬀectiveness?
- What are the success factors of interventions in various contexts? How can their
eﬀectiveness be maximised? Which unsuccessful interventions should be
- How should future interventions and their evaluations be designed considering:
●within-gender variation of target groups?
●sustainability of the implementation?
- How can the practical implementation of recommendations for interventions
3.2. Investigate promising interventions based on target
- How can the following interventions be encouraged, designed, and
●those that seek to change the public image of IT and address existing IT
●those that encourage women that they can be good at IT
●those that address the barriers that women in IT face over their careers
●those that reveal and address gender-related conscious and unconscious
●those that target girls, young women in school, men in the IT workplace,
●those that encourage scholarly research on gender imbalance in the IT
- What is the impact of gender equality policies in IT organisations?
- How can IT artefacts be used to promote gender balance in the IT profession?
4E. GORBACHEVA ET AL.
distribution must also be collected for ﬁelds adjacent
to IT, such as business process management
(Gorbacheva, Stein, Schmiedel, & Müller, 2016)or
geographic IS (Betancourt Mazur, 2015). According
to Frehill and McGrath-Cohoon (2015), another
potential challenge is that the overlap and similarities
among the IT, IS, Information and Communications
Technology (ICT), computing, and computer science
disciplines frequently cause confusion, so what the IT
profession constitutes must be deﬁned before con-
ducting a comparative analysis across countries.
Then, these authors suggest, these statistics must be
compared to the gender distribution in non-IT pro-
fessions. Subsequent comparative analysis of the col-
lected data in various contexts must be done with
caution to avoid comparing statistics for countries
where women still lack basic human rights and have
limited access to education and technology with sta-
tistics for countries that have overcome these
Within the IS community itself, gender-disaggre-
gated statistics regarding members of IS’s peak body,
the Association for Information Systems (AIS), edi-
tors of leading IS journals, authors of top-tier IS
publications, keynote speakers at IS conferences,
and so on remain to be captured systematically
(Loiacono et al., 2016). Finally, comprehensive gen-
der-disaggregated statistics on indicators of career
success (salary, job level, promotability, etc.) must
also be collected, analysed, and disseminated. In
1995, Baroudi and Igbaria (p. 181) showed that
female IT professionals tended to “be employed at
lower levels of the organisation, make less money,
and have greater intentions to leave the organisation”
than men, even when controlling for the diﬀerences
in education, work experience, and other character-
istics. Collecting these statistics would help to deter-
mine whether the situation has improved since then
and how these diﬀerences vary by country.
Direction 1.2. Investigate the implications of
gender imbalance in the IT profession
Increased awareness of the practical importance of gen-
der balance in the IT workforce may also increase
attention to this topic and motivate IS researchers to
study how this challenge can be addressed and practi-
tioners to implement eﬀective interventions. Therefore,
in addition to the collection and analysis of comprehen-
sive statistics (Direction 1.1), researchers should pro-
vide empirical evidence for each of the following
arguments for the value of gender diversity in the IT
workforce (Trauth, 2011a, pp. 561–562).
(1) The demographic argument contends that qua-
liﬁed IT professionals are in great demand but
are in short supply at all stages of the pipeline,
at least in Western societies (e.g., European
Commission, 2017; Kirton & Robertson,
2018). This argument is conﬁrmed by statis-
tics, but awareness about it (as well as about
the other arguments) must be raised before the
issue can be resolved.
(2) The innovation economy argument posits that
innovation is fuelled by brainpower and crea-
tivity and that “the ‘best brains’can come in a
variety of bodies”(Trauth, 2011a, p. 562). The
argument that involving more women would
lead to gaining access to more talent is self-
evident and relevant to every industry.
Another aspect of this argument that is yet to
be researched is that diversity positively
impacts teams’innovativeness and problem-
solving ability (e.g., EIGE, 2016; Kirton &
Robertson, 2018; NCWIT, 2015). Olbrich,
Trauth, Niedermann, and Gregor (2015) high-
light that, while the beneﬁts of diversity have
been explored in social science (e.g., van
Knippenberg & Schippers, 2007; Yu, 2002)
and management science (e.g., Foldy, 2004;
Saloman & Schork, 2003), few empirical stu-
dies research the value of gender diversity in
IT teams. Panteli et al. (1999, p. 180) propose
to conduct a “longitudinal study of an IT
organisation with initially a male-dominated
workforce and which is moving towards gen-
der equality”to explore the value of gender
diversity in IT, but either the study has not
been conducted yet or its results have not been
widely disseminated. Nelson (2014) reports on
inconsistency in the ﬁndings of studies on the
value of diversity in teams. For instance,
Woolley, Chabris, Pentland, Hashmi, Malone
(2010)ﬁnd that gender diverse teams are both
high-scoring and low-scoring in terms of the
overall assessment, and Choi (2015, p. 832)
reports that, although the coding output of
mixed-gender pairs did not diﬀer signiﬁcantly
from that of same-gender pairs, same-gender
pairs showed “higher levels of compatibility
and communication.”Such contradictory ﬁnd-
ings indicate that further rigorous investiga-
tion is required. Further research on the
consequences of gender diversity in IT teams,
in combination with other forms of diversity
(e.g., ethnicity, cultural background, age), is
also needed (Direction 2.1).
(3) As addressed by the Anita Borg Institute for
Women and Technology (2004)andAdyaand
Kaiser (2005), the consumer argument focuses on
diversity in IT design teams and argues that mem-
bers of technology-development teams should
represent the diﬀering needs of the entire consu-
mer base. These authors point out that, at least in
Western societies, women are half of consumers
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 5
of technologies, but few participate in the devel-
opment of these technologies, so bringing women
into technology-development teams would
improve developers’understanding of consu-
mers’needs and result in the creation of IT arte-
facts that do a better job of satisfying those needs,
thereby beneﬁtting society and the economy.
However, we found no empirical research sup-
porting this argument. According to Olbrich et al.
(2015,p.774),“a gender balanced design team
does not guarantee that the ultimate product or
servicewillbemoreaccessible,”so the authors call
for investigation of “the mechanics of how such
diversity of design team would inﬂuence
(4) Based on the research of Reid et al. (2010) and
Trauth, Cain, Joshi, Kvasny, and Booth (2012),
among others, the equality argument criticises
existing world power structures, where men
occupy most of the top positions in the IT
ﬁeld and elsewhere. As these authors point
out, IT jobs are amongst the best-paid jobs in
the world, which is not surprising since pro-
fessions in which women are under-repre-
sented (science, technology, engineering, and
mathematics, the STEM ﬁelds) are predomi-
nantly prestigious and well-paid, while profes-
sions in which men are under-represented
(teaching, nursing, etc.) are not. The authors
suggest that addressing gender imbalance in IT
would contribute to the empowerment of
women in social and economic life, which
would help to solve the grand challenge of
social inclusion. This argument requires inves-
tigation in order to determine to what extent
gender discrimination remains in the IT ﬁeld,
as reported in earlier studies (e.g., Robertson
et al., 2001; Truman & Baroudi, 1994). Many
companies and universities have introduced
equal opportunity policies to curb direct dis-
crimination, yet recent studies report that
indirect and often deep-rooted gender discri-
mination persists in the IT profession such
that women in IT may perceive themselves as
unwelcome (e.g., Armstrong & Zaza, 2016)
and be excluded from informal networks
(“the old boys’club”phenomenon (e.g.,
Kirton & Robertson, 2018)). Women might
also still experience gender pay gap (e.g.,
Joseph, Ang, & Slaughter, 2015) and invisible
structural barriers that prevent them from
advancing (the “glass ceiling”phenomenon
(e.g., Armstrong et al., 2018)). Investigation
of the degree of (implicit) gender discrimina-
tion in IT is required to address these issues.
(5) The employment brand argument proposes
that organisations that demonstrate their
support of gender equality, diversity, and
work-family balance are more appealing for
potential employees than are those that do
not, which helps them to attract and retain
employees (e.g., Annabi & Pels, 2016). Future
research should investigate the validity of this
argument as it applies to the IT industry by
investigating to what extent IT professionals,
independent of gender, value such support.
(6) The ﬁnancial beneﬁts argument is based on the
positive correlation studies show between
female representation in an organisation’s
senior positions and its ﬁnancial performance
(e.g., Loiacono et al., 2016). Research is
required to establish the validity of this rela-
tionship for the IT ﬁeld (Nelson, 2014).
Therefore, empirical investigation of the eco-
nomic and social consequences of gender
diversity not only in IT teams in general and
in the teams of IT artefact designers, but also
among managers of IT organisations would be
Directions to address Issue 2: Lack of coherent
explanation for gender imbalance in the IT
Direction 2.1. Examine the individual diﬀerences
theory of gender and IT
According to Ridley and Young (2012), among others,
the Individual Diﬀerences Theory of Gender and IT
(IDT), developed by Eileen Trauth (Trauth, 2002,2006),
is the most recent framework of the factors that could
help to “(1) explain the under-representation of women
in the IT ﬁeld; and (2) account for those women who
overcame barriers and entered the IT ﬁeld”
(Trauth, Cain, Joshi, Kvasny, and Booth, 2016,p.15).It
would be beneﬁcial to explore, build upon, test, and
extend this theory because IDT is “agendertheory
anchored in the information systems ﬁeld”(Joshi,
Trauth, Kvasny, & McPherson, 2013,p.2)thatsupports
the gender intersectionality approach to investigating the
under-representation of women in IT. The theory
“accounts for both gender group-level inﬂuences and
within-gender variation”(Trauth et al., 2016,p.15),
such that, “while all females in a particular society may
be exposed to the same messages about gender roles and
IT careers, both the interpretation of these messages and
the response to them will vary as a result of individual
factors”(Joshi et al., 2013, p. 5). The theory recognises the
concepts of exposure (“theamountofgenderbiaswhicha
particular woman actually encounters”), experience (“a
woman’s consciousness of bias and the extent to which
she notices and internalises it”)andresponse (“coping
bothseeingwomeninITas“completely free agents”and
embracing social determinism of gender roles (Joshi et al.,
6E. GORBACHEVA ET AL.
2013, p. 2). IDT, which emerged from qualitative studies
that are based on interviews, argues for the need to
consider the intersection of gender with such constructs
as individual identity, individual inﬂuences, and environ-
mental inﬂuences. Each theory construct contains ele-
ments that encompass a variety of factors that explain
the under-representation of women in IT (e.g., Joshi et al.,
2013; Quesenberry & Trauth, 2012;Trauthetal.,2016).
According to Trauth (2017), only individual inﬂuences
can be changed by interventions, while individual identity
and environmental inﬂuences cannot. Taken together, the
three constructs “can explain within-gender variation in
participation in the IT profession”(Trauth et al., 2016,
Trauth (2017), Trauth et al. (2016), Joshi et al. (2013),
and Trauth et al. (2012) mention some of the research
eﬀorts to investigate the inﬂuences of various combina-
tions of IDT’s elements on the experiences of women in
IT (Appendix B, Table B-1). These studies focus on the
intersections of gender with personal demographics (the
individual identity construct), gender with personal char-
acteristics and personal inﬂuences (the individual inﬂu-
ences construct), and gender with cultural, economic,
and infrastructure inﬂuences (the environmental inﬂu-
ences construct). However, most of these studies call for
more nuanced examinations of their ﬁndings. Moreover,
a comprehensive overview of research on operationalisa-
tion and testing of diﬀerent factors of IDT could not be
found. Such study could reveal existing gaps in research
on the causes of gender imbalance in the IT profession.
According to Ridley and Young (2012), most empirical
studies that apply IDT are largely interpretive in nature
and tend to employ qualitative methods. The ﬁrst steps
in testing some IDT elements using quantitative methods
are reported in Trauth et al. (2016)and Joshi et al. (2013).
However, appropriate measurement instruments for the
IDT factors that have not yet been operationalised
remain to be developed and tested using quantitative
methods. All such studies should be conducted in var-
ious contexts and by diﬀerent groups of researchers to
achieve triangulation and reliability.
Direction 2.2. Conduct a comparative analysis of
existing models of the factors that cause gender
imbalance in the IT profession
In addition to IDT (Direction 2.1), several other
theoretical models of the factors that inﬂuence IT
career intentions, choice, persistence, and advance-
ment among women have been deﬁned (e.g., Adya &
Kaiser, 2005; Ahuja, 2002; Armstrong et al., 2018;
Clayton et al., 2012). All of these models are related,
but no overview or a comparative analysis of how
these models overlap and diﬀer has been performed.
Ahuja (2002)ﬁnds that women who work or intend
to work in IT face social and structural barriers that
can aﬀect their IT career intentions, choice, persis-
tence, and advancement. Thus, this research follows
the social construction of gender approach.
Armstrong and Riemenschneider (2014, p. 85) in
the follow-up study include among the social barriers
(“the social and cultural views/biases held by society
in general”) social expectations and work-family con-
ﬂict and include among the structural barriers (“the
structure/hierarchy of the institution”) occupational
culture, institutional structures, lack of role models,
lack of mentors, and lack of informal networks. They
propose a revised version of Ahuja’s model and call
future research “to further explore Ahuja’s model
moving from a more exploratory perspective to a
more explanatory one”(p. 93). A high-level compar-
ison of Ahuja’s(2002) model with IDT shows that
IDT extends Ahuja’s(2002) model by adding the
individual dimension to it, although a more detailed
comparative analysis is required.
Researchers argue that the central reason for gender
imbalance in IT is the number of women who choose IT
to study and work, rather than the number of women
who leave IT (LeRouge, Wiley, & Maertz, 2013;
McKinney, Wilson, Brooks, O’Leary-Kelly, &
Hardgrave, 2008). Therefore, research on the factors
that inﬂuence women to choose IT as a career can
help to address the gender gap. As career choice is
preceded by career intentions, a focus is also needed
on the factors that inﬂuence IT career intentions among
female students who are in the process of initial deci-
sion-making about their careers (Cohen & Parsotam,
2010; Quesenberry & Trauth, 2012; von Hellens et al.,
2012). One prominent model of such factors is concep-
tualised by Adya and Kaiser (2005) and reworked and
extended by Clayton (2007). Both models incorporate
the individual attributes from IDT but retain the termi-
nology of social and structural factors from the Ahuja’s
(2002) model, detailing and adapting these factors for
girls and young women in school. Future research
should investigate the diﬀerences between these models
and IDT and whether they add value.
Another area for future research is to examine why
women choose certain study programmes and occu-
pations as alternatives to IT, the aspects of IT study
and work women dislike (as compared to the pro-
grammes and professions they choose), and the ben-
eﬁts of these alternatives that IT lacks (e.g., LeRouge
et al., 2013). Joshi et al. (2013) make the ﬁrst step in
applying IDT to an investigation of the inﬂuence of
its constructs on young women in school who decide
to study IT as opposed to those who choose a non-IT
major. LeRouge et al. (2013, p. 52) is another study to
pursue this course, by evaluating “satisfaction diﬀer-
ences between women in IT jobs and women in
multiple non-IT jobs.”Furthermore, studies of
women’s IT career persistence and advancement
should compare the factors that inﬂuence their deci-
sion to stay in the IT ﬁeld with those that cause them
to leave, as these factors are not necessarily direct
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 7
opposites. Armstrong and Riemenschneider (2014)
call also for information about the characteristics of
women who leave the ﬁeld. Armstrong and Zaza
(2016, p. 1) summarise the research issue in this
area, arguing that “even though the topic has been a
focus of study for years, researchers are still grappling
with the antecedents of turnover for women in tech-
Directions to address Issue 3: Lack of impact of
interventions that address gender imbalance in
the IT profession
Direction 3.1. Investigate the reasons behind
interventions’lack of impact
According to Trauth (2017,p. 13), the goal of
research on the factors that cause gender imbalance
in the IT profession is to develop theoretically
informed interventions that can be “deployed to
address, and ideally overcome, the barriers to parti-
cipation in the IT ﬁeld.”Several studies propose
explanations for the interventions’long-run failure
to be as eﬀective as hoped (e.g., Craig, 2015; Trauth
et al., 2009; von Hellens et al., 2012). However, no
comprehensive overview and analysis of these expla-
nations has been performed.
One argument, reported by such researchers as
Trauth et al. (2009), Panteli (2012), and Trauth
et al. (2016), is that many early interventions focused
on women as a homogenous group; however, just as
not all women in IT face the same barriers (e.g.,
Olbrich et al., 2015), one intervention might not
have the same eﬀect on all women. Therefore, inter-
ventions’planning and framing should be nuanced.
In addition, sustainability plans are missing from
many interventions, so any intervention that depends
on one key individual who lacks stable funding and
an implementation structure has little chance to per-
sist long enough to make an impact (e.g., von Hellens
et al., 2012). Sustainable and systematic intervention
programmes are likely to be more successful than a
one-time endeavour, as participants cannot be
expected to enter an IT career after exposure to a
single intervention event (e.g., Klawe, Whitney, &
Simard, 2009; Trauth, 2002). Therefore, future
research should provide comprehensive recommen-
dations for how intervention design and evaluation
should deal with within-gender variations (Direction
2.1) and sustainability (e.g., Panteli et al., 1999;
Quesenberry & Trauth, 2012).
According to such researchers as Quesenberry and
Trauth (2012), Craig (2015), and Annabi and Pels
(2016), interventions may be ineﬀective if they are
not evaluated so they can be improved. Intervention
evaluations usually include surveys that ask partici-
pants about their attitude towards and level of satis-
faction with the intervention (e.g., Clayton et al.,
2012; Fisher, Lang, Craig, & Forgasz, 2015; Trauth,
2012). However, as these authors point out, those
who organise the interventions often lack the neces-
sary expertise or face time or funding limitations that
preclude in-depth evaluations and revisions. This
situation could be changed if intervention sponsors/
decision-makers request the implementation of the-
ory-informed evaluations and provide the required
resources. The authors suggest that, in the best case,
an evaluation would involve all intervention stake-
holders, such as participants, organisers, and spon-
sors/decision-makers, and would be performed by
professional evaluators at several points in time.
Longitudinal evaluations have almost never taken
place, although they are crucial in revealing the
long-term impact, which is not possible with immedi-
ate post-intervention evaluations. What’s more, the
results of evaluations, especially those that are unsuc-
cessful, are rarely published academically. Craig
(2015)introduces a gender and computing evaluation
framework to assist intervention organisers in the
evaluation process and advance the theorisation of
the research on interventions. Future research could
test this framework in various contexts and adjust
and extend it if necessary. The next challenge is to
motivate intervention organisers to adopt and apply
While all the interventions are ultimately aimed at
getting more women into IT, each intervention pro-
gramme or event has a more speciﬁc problem it
intends to solve. Future research should summarise
these speciﬁc problems and derive respective success
(and failure) factors (e.g., Annabi & Lebovitz, 2018;
Craig, 2015; Trauth, 2017). For each type of interven-
tions a database could be developed that collects links
to relevant materials and information about such
interventions so researchers can determine why
some interventions are more successful than others
and how future interventions can replicate success.
The context in which an intervention took place
(country, culture, environment) should be considered
so recommendations can be derived concerning how
future interventions should be adjusted to ﬁt their
context. The impact of the presence of intervention
evaluations on their eﬀectiveness needs to be investi-
gated as well. A critical examination of existing inter-
ventions, focusing on their mistakes and
achievements, should result in a set of propositions
for the design of future interventions.
That interventions have been ineﬀective suggests
that the recommendations proposed in the gender
and IT intervention research are staying on paper
and not reaching practice (DuBow & Ashcraft,
2016), perhaps because the information reported in
scholarly publications is often diﬃcult for a busy
layperson to comprehend fully (Trauth, Keifer-Boyd,
& Trauth, 2016). Therefore, future research should
8E. GORBACHEVA ET AL.
explore the mechanisms that would foster the prac-
tical implementation of recommendations. According
to Trauth (2017, pp. 9–10), research on gender imbal-
ance in the IT profession should be action-oriented in
such a way that the ideas from research are translated
into “actionable behaviours that can make a diﬀer-
ence”and that the “real lives of real people”permeate
Direction 3.2. Investigate promising interventions
based on target groups
Interventions that seek to increase gender diversity in
IT can target society overall, women in IT at various
stages of their careers, men in IT, IS scholars, and
decision-makers. None of these target groups, as
highlighted in Direction 3.1, is homogenous, so the
interventions that target them must account for the
within-gender variations in their members.
Participants in interventions are also likely to have
their own gender-related conscious and unconscious
biases that aﬀect their behaviour and decision-mak-
ing. Therefore, future research must determine
whether interventions can address such biases and,
if so, how (e.g., Annabi & Pels, 2016; Serenko &
Turel, 2016; Trauth et al., 2010).
Society overall is arguably the most promising tar-
get group for the interventions, although it is also the
most diﬃcult group to reach and inﬂuence.
Numerous studies (e.g., Gürer & Camp, 2002;
Ridley & Young, 2012; Trauth et al., 2016) call for
interventions that can change IT’s public image,
arguing that existing perceptions of IT being for
men only still permeate society and aﬀect all of its
members and spheres, including schools, workplaces,
governments, and mass media. The diﬃculty in
reframing such gender stereotypes is that doing so
requires a change in culture, which cannot be
achieved in the short term. Still, societal interventions
can counteract existing IT stereotypes by making
positive female role models in IT more visible and
raising the conﬁdence of women that they can be
successful in IT, as well as by communicating that
IT is an interdisciplinary and diverse ﬁeld where not
only technical but also problem-solving, managerial,
social, and other competences are required (e.g.,
Bandias & Warne, 2009; Robertson et al., 2001;
Todd, McKeen, & Gallupe, 1995). The intervention
language and communication channels must be cho-
sen for their ability to reach a wide audience.
Examples include the theory-informed play iDream
(www.idreamtheplay.com), which addresses the bar-
riers women in the STEM ﬁelds face, or book Tech
Girls Are Superheroes (www.techgirlsaresuperheroes.
org), which is aimed at raising girls’interest in IT and
challenging existing stereotypes. Both examples use
novel communication channels and language that
everyone can understand, but their long-term impact
remains for future research to analyse.
Future research should also investigate how IT
artefacts can be used to promote gender balance in
the IT profession, as the “strategic challenge today is
to ensure not only that both women and men beneﬁt
from the opportunities presented by new ITs, but also
that new ITs are used to support greater socioeco-
nomic, scientiﬁc and political equality”(UNESCO,
2007, p. 31). Such IT artefacts could include online
mass media (Ridley & Young, 2012), social networks
(Fischer, 2016), group support systems (Trauth &
Jessup, 2000), crowdsourcing platforms (Gorbacheva
& Barann, 2017), and intranets (Öner, Kaya, Surgevil,
& Ozbilgin, 2012).
Women in IT at various stages of their careers
include students in school whose career preferences
are still unformed (career intentions), students who
have selected an IT-related study programme (career
choice), and IT professionals and academic staﬀmem-
bers who are working in IT departments (career per-
sistence and advancement). Gürer and Camp (2002)
show that many women believe that they cannot be
good at IT, so they never consider, much less enter, the
profession. This phenomenon must be addressed in all
interventions targeted to women, whether these inter-
ventions are in the educational arena (dealing with the
career-intentions and career-choice stages) or in the
workplace (which deal with the career-persistence and
Interventions in the educational arena that target
female students are of particular importance
(Direction 2.2), as they can communicate compre-
hensive and correct information about what consti-
tutes the modern IT profession, how it can help
people and improve the world, what beneﬁts it brings
to those in the profession, what IT professionals do,
what competences they need, and so on. Such inter-
ventions may include new or improved IT curricula,
assurance of a positive and inclusive learning envir-
onment during IT classes, training of IT teachers, and
guided parental involvement (e.g., Adya & Kaiser,
2005; Alvarado, Dodds, & Libeskind-Hadas, 2012;
Fisher et al., 2015). Studies show that children begin
to form their career aspirations and deﬁne gender
stereotypes at a young age (e.g., Chambers,
Kashefpakdel, & Rehill, 2018), so interventions that
shape children’s–especially girls’–early socialisation
can be particularly eﬀective. Furthermore, according
to Craig (2015), an educational arena that has even
more potential than schools is young women’s and
girls’use of IT in leisure-time activities.
Workplace interventions are aimed at the career
persistence and advancement of female IT profes-
sionals, but all IT employees, independent of gender,
can beneﬁt from many of them (Quesenberry &
Trauth, 2012). Such interventions, many of which
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 9
have been implemented in organisations in Western
societies and discussed in gender and IT intervention
research (e.g., Armstrong & Riemenschneider, 2014;
Kirton & Robertson, 2018; Trauth et al., 2009),
include ensuring equality at a basic level (e.g., equal
pay for equal work, equal treatment, equality in orga-
nisational processes, and eﬀective promotion proce-
dures), promoting work-family balance (e.g., parental
leave, child-care and elder-care services, ﬂexible work
schedules, and teleworking), promoting female IT
professionals’training and advancement (e.g., crea-
tion of networks, mentoring programmes, and career
and professional development programmes), and
creating positive environments and inclusive work-
places. Annabi and Pels (2016, p. 8) provide a sum-
mary of recommendations for interventions that
address the career persistence and advancement bar-
riers women in IT face and suggest that future
research investigate what barriers tend to persist in
spite of the interventions and what interventions are
most eﬀective in mitigating or eliminating them.
Annabi and Lebovitz (2018, p. 17) in the follow-up
study introduce “a theoretical framework that pro-
vides a holistic approach to assess the eﬀectiveness of
IT workplace interventions.”The authors call to test
this framework in various contexts and suggest pro-
positions for further investigation.
As for men in the IT workplace, it is more than
diﬃcult to empower women and girls fully unless men
and boys are engaged (e.g., Craig, 2015; Kimmel, 2015;
Trauth, 2012). DuBow and Ashcraft (2016,p.163)
explore the factors that prevent men from becoming
involved in diversity eﬀorts and provide a set of recom-
mendations for future interventions that seek to engage
men, highlighting that little research investigates “the
role of male allies in technology workplaces.”
IS scholars, too, could be more sensitised to gender
imbalance in the IT workforce than they are (e.g.,
Adam et al., 2004; Ridley & Young, 2012; von Hellens
et al., 2012). As indicated in Issue 1, the topic of
gender imbalance in IT lacks visibility and awareness
among those in the IS discipline, and high-quality
research that reaches these professionals is needed
(e.g., Trauth, 2017).
Finally, decision-makers, independent of gender,
are a promising target group, as they include policy-
makers who are responsible for the national, state,
and organisational policies that promote gender
equality and diversity. Recommendations for changes
in existing policies to address gender imbalance in the
IT profession include educational reform and adjust-
ments in the recruitment and advancement practices
in the IT industry (e.g., Craig, 2015; DuBow &
Ashcraft, 2016; Quesenberry & Trauth, 2012).
Future research should provide an overview of the
recommendations that have been implemented in
practice and evaluate their impact, focusing on
gender policies in IT organisations. According to
Callerstig (2017), there is still little research, other
than general discussions, on the impact of gender
Three overarching recommendations for advancing
the quality of future research on gender imbalance
in the IT profession are formulated from our analysis.
(1) Advance the theorisation
Multiple studies point out that research on gender
imbalance in the IT profession lacks theorisation
(e.g., Ridley & Young, 2012; Trauth, 2017), indicating
that many authors have not used gender theories to
guide their research’s design, the interpretation of
their ﬁndings, or the development of resulting impli-
cations. Therefore, they lack signiﬁcant contributions
to the body of knowledge in this ﬁeld. Certainly,
theorisation is central to the maturation process of
any ﬁeld of research, so, as Trauth (2013, p. 285)
argues, the “paucity of cumulative theoretical knowl-
edge about gender in the IS ﬁeld”is a major obstacle
to its maturity. Despite numerous studies on the
value of gender diversity, we remain largely in the
dark about why women are under-represented in IT
and how to develop eﬀective interventions to address
this problem. Solid new theoretical foundations and
approaches are required. As outlined in Issue 2, that
new research often fails to consider the ﬁndings of
earlier research contributes to the comparatively low
levels of theorisation. The more scholars build on
each other’s work over time, the more theoretical
insights we can expect. This lack of cumulative tradi-
tion has been criticised in IS research in general, as
many authors attempt to build new theories rather
than testing or reworking more substantive existing
theories (Benbasat & Zmud 1999). Another reason
for the under-theorisation of the literature on this
topic can be seen in the lack of visibility and aware-
ness of this topic in the IS discipline (e.g., Adam
et al., 2004; von Hellens et al., 2012). This research
ﬁeld must be legitimised through awareness so it can
reach the high levels of theoretical development that
would contribute to increasing its level of maturity.
The development of explanatory theories within
existing approaches to gender and IS research (gender
essentialism, the social construction of gender, and
gender intersectionality) can make a valuable contribu-
tion to theorisation in the ﬁeld, but whether these
approaches are theoretically suﬃcient to investigating
the under-representation of women in IT or they need
to be revised and extended remains to be determined
(Ridley & Young, 2012). Trauth (2017) argues that both
the exploration and application of existing theories and
the development of alternative theories and frameworks
can help to elucidate the phenomenon. Studies that
10 E. GORBACHEVA ET AL.
follow methods that are sometimes considered mar-
ginal (e.g., grounded theory, action research, design
science methods) may provide new insights into the
experiences of women in the IT profession (Howcroft
&Trauth,2008; Reid et al., 2010). As Trauth (2017,p.
15) says, “All methodologies and epistemologies have a
place in social inclusion research.”
(2) Conduct comparative studies in a variety of
One common limitation indicated in many studies
on gender imbalance in the IT profession is that their
ﬁndings may not be extensible to other cultural,
national/regional, or professional contexts.
Comparative statistics on gender distribution in the IT
profession and career-success indicators of women and
men who work in the IT industry should be collected
(Issue 1). Moreover, several studies (e.g., Trauth, 2012;
Trauth et al., 2016,2009) call for examination in various
contexts of the intersection of gender with other forms
of diversity in IT teams. Future research should also
seek to determine in various contexts which factors that
inﬂuence women’s IT career decisions are most inﬂu-
ential (Issue 2) (e.g., Armstrong et al., 2018).
Consideration of context is necessary when construct-
ing interventions and planning their evaluations
because interventions that were successful in one setting
might not be in another (Issue 3) (e.g., Quesenberry &
Trauth, 2012; Ridley & Young, 2012). Therefore, inves-
tigation and comparative analysis of interventions’suc-
cess factors and evaluation strategies in various contexts
are promising areas for future research. Any cross-cul-
tural research requires consideration of several aspects,
such as achieving cross-cultural equivalence, preventing
biases, choosing an appropriate sample, and ensuring
correct translation (Karahanna, Evaristo, & Srite, 2004).
(3) Conduct longitudinal studies
Longitudinal studies could provide valuable con-
tributions to research on gender imbalance in the IT
profession, but since such studies are diﬃcult to
conduct, they rarely take place (e.g., Fisher et al.,
2015). We suggest that future research addresses
this gap for each of the identiﬁed issues in order to
explore the value of gender diversity in IT and to
track relevant statistics’development over time (Issue
1). Longitudinal research is also required to identify
and evaluate the inﬂuences and barriers women in IT
face at the individual and societal levels (Issue 2). At
the individual level, future research could track the
experiences of women in IT throughout the stages of
their careers (e.g., Ahuja, 2002), and at the societal
level, track the development of the barriers to women
in the IT profession in various countries (e.g.,
Armstrong & Riemenschneider, 2014). Longitudinal
research could be valuable for researchers and practi-
tioners in understanding the long-term impacts of
their attempted interventions (Issue 3).
Conclusion and outlook
This “Issues and Opinion”article was motivated by
the need to identify how IS research can contribute
to addressing the challenge of gender imbalance in
the IT profession. We ground our work on an
iterative review of high-quality research on this
issue, complemented by our own experience from
large-scale research projects and interventions. Based
on the results of our analysis, we (1) synthesise
existing issues in research on gender imbalance in
the IT profession, (2) propose directions for future
research to address each of the identiﬁed issues, and
(3) suggest actionable research questions for each of
the proposed directions (Table 1). We also call on
future research to advance theorisation based on the
cumulative research eﬀorts in the ﬁeld and to con-
duct both comparative studies in various contexts
and longitudinal studies. By presenting important
avenues for future research, we hope to spur discus-
sion among IS scholars and support fellow research-
ers’eﬀorts to advance this ﬁeld and make important
contributions to it. From an academic perspective,
we also address the call for more conceptual studies
in the gender and IS research ﬁeld (Trauth, 2013,
2017; von Hellens et al., 2012). Furthermore, we
propose theoretically grounded recommendations
for interventions that practitioners can apply
(Directions 3.1 and 3.2).
The directions and research questions we propose
are not exhaustive, and although we searched for extant
studies that address each of our suggested directions for
future research, we cannot guarantee that the research
we call for has not already been published somewhere
outside the outlets we searched. Nevertheless, our study
provides a strong base for future research on gender
imbalance in the IT profession and might inspire col-
lection and comparison of other relevant publications
inside and outside the IS community.
Future work should examine within-gender diﬀer-
ences, not only the diﬀerences between men and
women, and consider the complex relationships
among gender, organisations, and society. We do not
encourage further essentialist research in the ﬁeld. The
variety of social and personality constructs are much
more powerful predictors of human behaviour than
biological sex is (Loiacono et al., 2016;Trauth,2017;
Trauth et al., 2016). Therefore, future IS research should
distinguish between gender (social) and sex (biological)
constructs and move away from drawing conclusions
based on biological sex alone. This paper focuses on the
challenge of gender diversity in the IT profession, but
future research should investigate how to improve over-
all diversity in the ﬁeld. According to von Hellens et al.
(2012, p. 345), lessons learned from the interventions
that help to attract women to the IT workforce “may be
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 11
transferable and applied [to other] speciﬁc social groups
that are also under-represented in IT.”Also outside the
scope of this study but important to future research is
the persistent challenge in many non-Western societies
of gender inequality in access to and use of IT, which is
the result of women’s unfavourable employment, edu-
cation, and income conditions (Hilbert, 2011). Given
the omnipresent role of IT in all areas of modern
society, people who lack access to technology or the
skills to use it will become increasingly disadvantaged.
The IS discipline has an opportunity to contribute to
addressing the challenge of gender imbalance among
both IT professionals and IT users.
We would like to thank Dr. Armin Stein for his continuous
support in the development of this paper.
No potential conﬂict of interest was reported by the
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EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 15
Table A-1. Details of the Literature Review and Practical Experience that Informed the Identiﬁcation of Issues and Directions for
Future Research on Gender Imbalance in the IT Profession.
Literature review - The Basket of Journals (see Table A-2).
- Specialised outlets relevant to gender and IS:
•Information Technology and People (all issues)
•The Data Base for Advances in Information Systems (all issues)
•ACM Inroads (2012 and 2002 special issues)
•Women, Work and Computerization (2006 special issue)
•IEEE Annals of the History of Computing (1996 special issue)
- Further relevant studies published outside the Basket of Journals.
- Forward search of all the identiﬁed relevant studies.
- Research projects
•“Gender Equality Plans for Information Sciences and Technology Research Institutions”(EQUAL-IST, 2016–2019) funded by the
European Union (EU) within the Horizon 2020 Framework Programme
•“Gender Equality in Digital Entrepreneurship”(2016–2019) funded by the EU Erasmus+ Programme
•“Development of an Information Platform for Young Women for Professional and Academic Orientation in IT-related
Professions”(Digital Me, 2016–2019) funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research
•“Digital Divas”(2009−2011) funded by the Australian Research Council (ARC)
•“Women in Information Technology”(WinIT, 1995–2012) funded by the ARC
- Interventions (selected)
•“Go Girl, Go for IT”(Australia)
•Activities of the “Tech Girls Movement”(international)
•Women’s Networking Events organised by the Association for Information Systems (AIS) Women’s Network (international)
Table A-2. Details of Search and Selection of Papers on Gender Imbalance in the IT Profession Published in the Basket of
Outlets The Basket of Journals consists of the following eight journals (AIS SENIOR SCHOLAR CONSORTIUM, 2011):
1. European Journal of Information Systems (EJIS)
2. Information Systems Journal (ISJ)
3. Information Systems Research (ISR)
4. Journal of Association for Information Systems (JAIS)
5. Journal of Information Technology (JIT)
6. Journal of Management Information Systems (JMIS)
7. Journal of Strategic Information Systems (JSIS)
8. Management Information Systems Quarterly (MISQ)
Research data-bases used
EBSCOhost Business Searching Interface
Scopus (www.scopus.com) AIS Electronic Library (http://aisel.
Gender-related search terms Gender-neutral terms: “Feminine”terms: “Masculine”terms:
gender, sex female, wom?n
male, m?n, boy, masculi*
The Basket of Journals ISSN
0960085X (EJIS), 13,501,917 (ISJ), 13,652,575 (ISJ E-ISSN), 10,477,047 (ISR), 15,369,323 (JAIS), 02683962 (JIT), 07421222
(JMIS), 09638687 (JSIS), 02767783 (MISQ)
Search string Any of the gender-related search terms in abstract AND Any of the Basket of Journals ISSN codes
Fields for text analysis Preliminary analysis: Abstracts.
Analysis of the selected studies: Full texts.
Search time-frame All articles published in the Basket of Journals up to the year 2018
Nr. of papers Total papers
Studies not relevant
Studies on gender
imbalance in IT:
16 (Table A-3)
Other studies, where
the topic of gender
is at the core of
Studies, where the topic
of gender is one of the
Review articles or
- the topic of gender
is at the core of
- the topic of gender
is one of the
The 1991–1995 issues of EJIS and the 1991–1993 issues of ISJ were not represented in any of the databases; these volumes were checked
manually using the online archives available on the journal websites. No relevant articles were identiﬁed during this manual search.
The wildcard question mark (“?”) represents any one character.
The wildcard asterisk (“*”) can be substituted with any number of characters.
16 E. GORBACHEVA ET AL.
Table A-3. Studies on Gender Imbalance in the IT Profession Published in the Basket of Journals.
Paper/gender of the authors Main ideas, research approaches, and addressed issues
Nr. of times cited
total/avg. per year
Panteli et al. (1999)/2
women and 2 men
The study had the following objectives: “ﬁrst, to map the representation and distribution of
women employed in diﬀerent types of positions in the IT industry; second, to examine
gender similarities and diﬀerences in attitudes to career in IT; and, ﬁnally, to study ways IT
organisations structure and deﬁne occupations, and to examine the extent to which these
contribute to gender segregation and gendered structures in IT workplaces.”(p. 172)
Quantitative and qualitative approaches were used to analyse the case study data. [I2]
Ahuja (2002)/woman Based on the analysis of literature, in this conceptual study “a model of barriers faced by
women”in the IT ﬁeld was introduced. The author suggested that “social and structural
factors, as well as their interactions, would result in turnover of women in IT.”(p. 20) [I2]
Trauth et al. (2009)/3
The research question motivating this qualitative study, where grounded theory was employed
as a method, was: “How do factors in the workplace aﬀect the experience of women in the
US information sector?”The authors “chose the individual diﬀerences theory of gender and IT
[. . .] as a lens for theorising the experience of women in the IT workplace.”(p. 478, 482) [I2]
Reid et al. (2010)/4 women The following research question was addressed in this qualitative study, where focus group was
employed as a method: “Are there diﬀerences in men’s and women’s perceptions about the
challenges women face in IS?”The study was informed by “both the critical and feminist
research traditions.”(pp. 529, 535) [I2]
Robertson et al. (2001)/4
women and 1 man
This conceptual study, where analysis of literature was employed as a method, “explored some
of the reasons that may underlie the gender segregation and declining levels of woman
participation within the ﬁeld of computing in Europe during the 1990s in both the
professional (industrial) and academic spheres.”The authors focused on “the social
construction of the computing domain”and investigated the gender segregation using this
perspective. (pp. 111, 115) [I2]
Clayton et al. (2012)/3
This mixed-method case study presented “a conceptualisation of the inﬂuence of middle-school
experiences on girls’IT study and career choices.”The approach followed in the study was
positioned as “a middle ground between social construction and essentialism and had
similarities to the theory of individual diﬀerences proposed by Trauth.”(p. 375) [I3]
Panteli (2012)/woman “This paper discussed the case of an intervention programme for women returners in IT”by
qualitatively analysing case study data. (p. 392) Individual and structural factors were
considered in the study for analysing the intervention. [I3]
Quesenberry and Trauth
The research question addressed in this mixed-method study was “How can an understanding
of career anchor variation among women in the IT workforce in the US be used to inform
interventions aimed at increasing woman participation in the profession?”(p. 4) Case study
data was investigated both qualitatively and quantitatively. The individual diﬀerences theory
of gender and IT was employed as a theoretical lens. [I3]
Ridley and Young (2012)/
This mixed-method study addressed the following research question: “Do theoretical
perspectives shape how Australian society understands gender inﬂuences on the IT
workforce?”(p. 6) The articles published in one national newspaper were analysed both
quantitatively and qualitatively, comparing the three gender and IS theories. [I3]
Craig (2015)/woman This study introduced a framework to evaluate gender and computing interventions. The study
involved a review of the literature, analysis of the case study data, and interviews with
intervention experts. [I3]
Annabi and Lebovitz
This study was aimed at gaining a better understanding of “organisational interventions aimed
at increasing gender diversity [. . .] by developing a comprehensive framework.”(p. 1) Case
studies of nine organisations were analysed qualitatively and compared with each other. [I3]
Armstrong et al. (2018)/3
“Using Ahuja’s theoretical model as the foundation, this study asked women working in IT what
workplace challenges they faced”via focus group interviews. The study suggested “an
extended theoretical model that could be used to further explore the challenges women face
at various career stages in the IT ﬁeld.”(p. 1) [I2]
Baroudi and Igbaria (1995)/
The goal of this quantitative study, where survey was employed as a method, was to examine
“the role gender played in career success within the IS occupation.”(p. 183) [I2]
Kirton and Robertson
In this study, the analysis of “the gender and IS literature and feminist theorising”was used as a
basis for ﬁeldwork at an IT department of a company in the UK. Fieldwork included semi-
structured interviews, roundtable discussions with female employees, interviews with female
board members, and a career development workshop. The study results revealed “how
components of organisational inequality regimes [. . .] combine and interact to produce and
maintain gender inequality in the IT workplace.”(pp. 1, 5) [I2]
Truman and Baroudi
This quantitative study, where survey was employed as a method, “empirically examined the
extent of treatment discrimination in a select group of IS managers by looking at the
disparities in salaries and job levels between men and women.”(p. 131) [I2]
Igbaria and Baroudi (1995)/
The goal of this quantitative study, where survey was employed as a method, was “to determine
similarities and diﬀerences between woman and man IS employees on job performance and
career advancement prospects.”(p. 114) [I2]
No relevant articles were identiﬁed in ISR (US), JAIS (US), and JIT (UK).
Addressed Issues (I) related to gender imbalance in the IT profession:
[I1] Lack of research on the consequences of gender imbalance in the IT profession.
[I2] Lack of coherent explanation for gender imbalance in the IT profession.
[I3] Lack of impact of interventions that address gender imbalance in the IT profession.
Retrieved from Google Scholar (https://scholar.google.com) 2018–03-06.
Journal/Years Analysed/Main Country of Origin.
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 17
Table A-4. Further Studies Considering the Topic of Gender at the Core of Research and Published in the Basket of Journals.
analysed Paper/gender of the authors Main ideas, research approaches, and criteria why gender is at the core of research
EJIS (1991−2016) Adam et al.(2006)/6 women This qualitative study, where case study was employed as a method, attempted to capture
“the question of gender identity [in IT work] and the way that women distance themselves
either from claiming to be working centrally in IT or from being women in relation to IT
skills”(p. 376). (p. 370) [C1,2]
Greenhill and Wilson (2006)/
The following research question was addressed in this conceptual study: “What are the
implications of teleworking at home for women’s ability to improve their disadvantaged
situation, especially through collective actions?”Based on the analysis of literature, in
particular, Marxist studies, the authors oﬀered “an alternative position for interpreting and
describing how approaches concerning gender could be applied to the at-home telework
phenomenon.”(p. 380) [C1,2]
Light (2007)/man The “area of Masculinity Studies”was introduced to IS research by presenting a qualitative
analysis of a case study on an internet-dating website for gay men. The study raised a
discussion on men’s gendered experiences of IS. [C1,2]
ISJ (1991−2016) Harvey (1997)/woman “The question that was explored in this paper was concerned with the extent to which
masculine culture can arguably be found in the formative contexts of IT professionals.”(p.
154) The author qualitatively analysed the data collected during ﬁve ethnographic ﬁeld
studies and concluded that IT is socially constructed. [C1,2]
Howcroft and Trauth (2008)/
In this conceptual study, literature was analysed to explore “the nature of the critical agenda
and endeavours to advance the critical debate”in gender and IS research. “[A]n argument
for the beneﬁts of adopting a critical perspective when studying gender and IS research”
was presented and justiﬁed in the paper. (p. 185) [C1,2]
ISR (1990−2016) Duxbury et al.(1992)/2
women and 1 man
The following research question was addressed in this quantitative study, where survey was
employed as a method: “What impact does gender have on the relationship between AHT
[After-Hours Telecommuting] and work-family conﬂict?”(p. 174) [C1]
Joseph et al. (2015)/1 man
and 2 women
This study considered several theories “to hypothesise relationships between relative pay gap
and patterns of job mobility”of men and women (p. 145). The authors conducted
quantitative analysis of work histories of 359 IT professionals. [C1]
JIT (1990−2016) Adam (2002)/woman This conceptual study, where analysis of literature was employed as a method, explored the
“ways in which theorising gender may be important in forming an understanding of the
topic of emancipation, which was central to the new critical IS based on the thinking of
Habermas.”(pp. 59, 63) [C1,2]
Wilson (2004)/woman This conceptual study, where analysis of literature was employed as a method, was aimed at
addressing “the under-theorisation of gender within the IS literature by adopting a critical
and feminist approach to the organisational context of IS development and use.”(pp. 81,
Shen et al.(2010)/3 men and 1
One of the goals of this quantitative study, where survey was employed as a method, was to
“examine possible gender diﬀerences in engaging in social network-facilitated team
collaboration.”(p. 153) [C1]
JMIS (1984−2016) Zahedi et al.(2006)/1 woman
and 2 men
The following research question was addressed in this qualitative study, which employed the
grounded theory approach: “What are the signiﬁers of cultural masculinity and femininity
in Web documents?”(pp. 89, 118) [C1,2]
Awad & Ragowsky (2008)/1
woman and 1 man
The following research question was addressed in this quantitative study, where survey was
employed as a method: “Do men and women diﬀer in their evaluation of online trust,
online WOM [Word-Of-Mouth], and e-Commerce?”(p. 102) [C1]
JSIS (1991−2016) Krasnova et al.(2017)/3
women and 1 man
This quantitative study, where survey was employed as a method, investigated the gender
diﬀerences in the determinants of intentions to continuously use social networking sites
(SNS). The following research question was addressed: “What are the gender diﬀerences in
the determinants of continuance intentions of SNS users?”(p. 262) [C1]
MISQ (1977−2016) Gefen & Straub (1997)/both
The goal of this quantitative study, where survey was employed as a method, was to
examine “gender diﬀerences in the perception and use of email.”(p. 389) The study also
discussed the lack of gender-based work in technology acceptance research. [C1]
Venkatesh & Morris (2000)/
The following research question was addressed in this quantitative study, where survey was
employed as a method: “Are men and women diﬀerent with respect to technology
adoption?”(p. 128) [C1]
Ahuja & Thatcher (2005)/1
woman and 1 man
The goal of this quantitative study, where survey was employed as a method, was to
examine “the inﬂuence of the work environment and gender on trying to innovate with
IT.”One of the addressed research questions was, whether “the relationships of perceived
overload and autonomy with IT innovation varied by gender.”(pp. 427, 429) [C1]
Riedl et al.(2006)/3 men The following research question was addressed in this quantitative study, where laboratory
experiment was employed as a method: “Are there neural gender diﬀerences in online
trust?”(p. 398) [C1]
Oreglia & Srinivasan (2016)/
This study was based on an ethnographic ﬁeldwork and explored the role of IT in supporting
women in an attempt to “renegotiate existing gendered power structures”(p. 501). [C1,2]
Venkatesh et al.(2017)/2
women and 2 men
One of the objectives of this quantitative study, where survey was employed as a method,
was “to develop a model of person–organisation and person–job ﬁt that accounts for
gender diﬀerences”(p. 527) The study showed evidence that gender was “a moderator of
the relationships between valuations of diﬀerent work outcomes and ﬁt perceptions”(p.
No relevant papers were found in JAIS (US).
Criteria (C) why the topic of gender is at the core of research:
[C1] Gender is part of the study goal, research question, or hypothesis.
[C2] A detailed analysis of a gender-related topic is provided.
18 E. GORBACHEVA ET AL.
Table A-5. Studies Considering the Topic of Gender as One of the Factors and Published in the Basket of Journals.
Journal/years analysed Paper Main ideas and rationales why gender is one of the factors
EJIS (1991−2016) Taylor (2004) The inﬂuence of users’cognitive style and gender on their usage of computer-mediated
Knowledge Management Systems (KMS) was investigated. One of the study ﬁndings was
that “gender signiﬁcantly aﬀected KMS usage, with males being more likely to use such
systems than females”and that there was “a small interaction eﬀect between cognitive
style and gender.”(p. 52)
Ranganathan et al.(2006) The study aimed at understanding “the switching behaviour of mobile users”who had
prepaid tariﬀs, and gender was reported to be one of the inﬂuential factors in this context,
namely that “a male user was 1.16 times more likely to switch mobile providers than a
female user.”(p. 274)
Gallivan & Benbunan-Fich
Demographics of IS researchers was studied, including their location and gender. A “set of
‘most productive researchers’” was identiﬁed and women comprised 17.5% of it. (p. 49)
McCoy et al.(2007) One of the study ﬁndings obtained during the multi-cultural examination of technology
acceptance model (TAM) was that “the TAM model appears not to fully hold for people
scoring [. . .] high on masculinity”, namely that for such individuals Perceived Ease of Use
did not inﬂuence Behavioural Intentions to use a technology.”(p. 87) Masculinity here was
considered as one of the cultural dimensions in accordance with Hofstede (1980).
Heinze & Hu (2009) The factors inﬂuencing intentions to choose a career in IT were conceptualised and tested.
One of the study ﬁndings was that “males were more likely to choose [IT as a career] than
Phang et al.(2010) The eﬀects of gender on the needs of online consumer were investigated alongside with
other demographic variables. Findings “did not indicate gender diﬀerences in the online
Chen & Sharma (2015) The study analysed survey data to, among others, explore the diﬀerences between male and
female Facebook users in their “learning-based attitude formation and the relationship
between member attitude and self-disclosure.”(p. 93)
Hoehle et al.(2015) The study focused on the challenge of developing mobile applications that “satisfy
individuals with various cultural backgrounds.”A“model examining the impact of mobile
social media application usability on continued intention to use”was developed, where,
among others, the masculinity/femininity cultural value by Hofstede was incorporated as
one of the moderators. (337)
Foth (2016) The study analysed survey data to explore “the inﬂuences of the attitudes, subjective norms
and perceived behavioural control on employees’intentions to comply with data
protection regulations”and, among others, investigated the diﬀerences between men and
women (p. 91).
ISJ (1991−2016) Pozzebon et al.(2012) The paper discussed “the value of a pluralist and multi-paradigmatic theoretical framework in
dealing with complex IS social phenomena.”Moreover, “one of the motivations for
carrying out this research was to discover whether and how women’s roles were aﬀected
by the use of DSS [Decision Support System].”(p. 13) The mentioned theory of gender
relations was supportive and not at the core of the study.
Venkatesh et al.(2014) Gender was tested in this study as one of the “predictors of e-Government portal use.”.(p.
Payton (2016) The study dealt with the topic of “culturally relevant health information”and collected
requirements to an online platform that targeted Black female college students (p. 319).
ISR (1990−2016) Gattiker & Kelley (1999) One of the study objectives was to determine if individual diﬀerences, including gender,
aﬀected people’s moral acts when IT was involved. Study ﬁndings showed that “women
appeared more cautious regarding certain moral and immoral acts of computer users”and
“women were more likely to refrain from distributing illegal games.”(p. 233)
Levina & Xin (2007) The study analysed the factors inﬂuencing “IT workers’compensation in labour markets.”One
of the study ﬁndings was that “female IT workers [. . .] fared worse than their male [.. .]
counterparts as the IT job market slowed down [in the early 2000s].”(p. 193)
Ragu-Nathan et al.(2008) The study analysed the factors inﬂuencing “the phenomenon of techno stress”, which,
among others, included gender. One of the study ﬁndings, which was contradictory to the
authors’expectations, was that “males experienced more techno stress than females.”(p.
Cavusoglu et al.(2016) The study examined “the role of granular privacy controls on dynamic content-sharing
activities and disclosure patterns of Facebook users based on the exogenous policy change
in December 2009.”One of the study ﬁndings was that those users who did not reveal
their gender shared “more content openly and less content secretly than before”, while
those users who revealed their gender shared “less content openly and more content
secretly after the change.”(p. 848)
JAIS (2000−2016) Leonard & Cronan (2001) The study furthered “the development/validation of the IT ethical model”by adding the
gender construct to it. Gender was shown to be one of the “signiﬁcant indicators of ethical
behaviour intention”with women having “a greater intention to behave ethically than
Hansen & Walden (2013) The study investigated “consumers’perceptions of legality and ethicalness of ﬁle sharing”
and gender here acted as one of the control variables. (p. 521)
Gallivan & Ahuja (2015) The study analysed scientiﬁc collaboration (co-authorship) in the papers published in ﬁve
leading IS journals and, among other ﬁndings, revealed “signiﬁcant eﬀects of homophily
related to gender”(981).
Fehrenbacher (2017) The study analysed “the inﬂuence of emotional expressions in faces on knowledge-sharing
decisions in a computer-mediated environment.”One of the study ﬁndings was that the
inﬂuence of emotional facial expression on knowledge-sharing decisions “held for females
but not males.”
EUROPEAN JOURNAL OF INFORMATION SYSTEMS 19
Table A-5. (Continued).
Journal/years analysed Paper Main ideas and rationales why gender is one of the factors
JIT (1990−2016) Iscan & Naktiyok (2005) The study analysed the factors inﬂuencing “individuals’attitudes towards telecommuting.”
One of the study ﬁndings was that women had “a more favourable attitude towards
Kim & Han (2009) The study investigated the factors inﬂuencing adoption of mobile data services, and gender,
alongside with other variables, had a moderating eﬀect on acceptance of mobile data
Škerlavaj et al.(2010) The study objective was “to determine the patterns and structures that govern the formation
of intra-organisational learning networks.”One of the study ﬁndings showed evidence of
homophily in terms of gender in learning relationships. (p. 2)
JMIS (1984−2016) Harrison & Rainer Jr.
The study tested “the relationship between individual diﬀerences and computer skill.”One of
the study ﬁndings was that “the male gender [. . .] [was one of the] individual diﬀerence
variables associated with higher computer skill.”(p. 93)
Smits et al.(1993) The study described “the job characteristic preferences and self-described personal attributes
and work traits [. . .] of persons entering [IS] careers.”One of the study ﬁndings was that
“the commonalities among high-achieving females and males vastly overshadowed their
Hess et al.(2006) The study explored “how multimedia vividness and the use of computer-based social cues
could inﬂuence involvement with technology and decision-making outcomes.”One of the
study ﬁndings was that “women reported higher levels of involvement with the decision
He et al.(2007) The study examined “how communication activity and team diversity impacted the
formation of [team cognition].”One of the study ﬁndings was that “[g]ender diversity had
a strong and positive eﬀect on the development of team cognition.”(p. 261)
Brown et al.(2010) The study aimed at explaining “the adoption and use of collaboration technology.”(p. 10)
One of the study ﬁndings was that gender moderated the eﬀects of facilitating conditions,
performance expectancy, and eﬀort expectancy on the intention to use a collaboration
Wattal et al.(1992) The study examined “the role of network externalities on the use of blogs in an
organisation.”One of the study ﬁndings was that “network eﬀects were stronger for
women than for men.”(p. 146)
Chai et al.(2011) The study analysed the “factors aﬀecting bloggers’knowledge sharing”and highlighted the
moderating eﬀect of gender. One of the study ﬁndings was that “trust, norms of
reciprocity, and strength of social ties had a more signiﬁcant eﬀect on women bloggers’
knowledge-sharing behaviour than on the behaviour of men bloggers.”(p. 332)
Nunamaker et al.(2011) One of the study goals was to investigate the interaction between human and “an
automated kiosk that used embodied intelligent agents to interview individuals.”One of
the study ﬁndings was that “instantiations that had the agents embodied as males were
perceived as more powerful, while female embodied agents were perceived as more
Maruping & Magni (2012) The study investigated the “factors that aﬀected employees’propensity to explore a new
system’s features.”One of the study ﬁndings was that “men and women were aﬀected
diﬀerently by team climate.”In particular, “for men team empowerment climate had no
inﬂuence on intention to explore, whereas for women there was a signiﬁcant negative
cross-level eﬀect.”(pp. 79–80)
Ma et al.(2013) The study analysed various aspects of how early online reviews biased subsequent reviews
and one of the ﬁndings was that male reviewers were “more prone to being inﬂuenced by
prior reviews.”(p. 280)
JSIS (1991−2016) Gupta et al.(2008) The study explored the factors aﬀecting “adoption of IT to enhance government-to-employee
interactions in a government organisation in a developing country.”(p. 140) The inﬂuence
of gender was investigated, but no signiﬁcant moderating eﬀect of gender was found.
MISQ (1977−2016) Igbaria et al.(1991) Career orientations of IS employees were investigated and one of the study ﬁndings was that
“women were more lifestyle oriented and less technically oriented than men.”(p. 151)
Webster & Martocchio
The measure of microcomputer playfulness (“degree of cognitive spontaneity in
microcomputer interactions”) was investigated. One of the study ﬁndings was that this
measure “did not relate to gender.”(p. 201)
Trauth & Jessup (2000) The study analysed, whether “an interpretive analysis of GSS [Group Support System] uses
resulted in a diﬀerent understanding of the GSS discussions than that provided by a
positivist analysis.”(p. 45) Gender equity in a university was chosen as a topic for GSS
discussions. The focus of the study was on computer-mediated discussions and on various
approaches to data analysis; the topic of gender equity in a university was used to contrast
the results of positivist and interpretive analyses.
Moores & Chang (2006) The study attempted to better understand software piracy and proposed a model of ethical
decision-making. Moderating eﬀect of gender on the ethical decision-making process was
tested, but “limited support for gender diﬀerences”was found. (p. 175)
Srite & Karahanna (2006)“The paper identiﬁed espoused national cultural values as an important set of individual
diﬀerence moderators in technology acceptance.”Masculinity/femininity, as one of such
values, was “incorporated into an extended model of technology acceptance”as a
moderator. One of the study ﬁndings was that “social norms were stronger determinants
of intended behaviour for individuals who espouse feminine [. . .] cultural values.”Another
ﬁnding was that “espoused masculinity/femininity values did not moderate the
relationship between perceived usefulness and behavioural intention, but [. . .] did
moderate the relationship between perceived ease of use and behavioural intention.”(p.
McElroy et al.(2007) The study tested “the eﬀect of personality and cognitive style on three measures of Internet
use”and gender acted as one of the control variables. (p. 809)
20 E. GORBACHEVA ET AL.