Wednesday, August 17, 2011

She’s Geeky: The Performance of Identity among Women Working in IT

Recently my wife and I have been watching NCIS. Neither of us is sure why we are so into the show but it is a guilty pleasure we enjoy. One of the characters on there, Abby Sciuto, is the current media incarnation of 'the hacker girl'. Prior to Abby, another famous one was Chloe on 24. While I understand and even applaud the idea behind showing women in IT/Science oriented roles I have always felt like the reality of the life for a woman in IT and male dominated science fields bows to the Hollywood need to move things to the lowest common denominator.

In a recent article in the International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, Rhiannon Bury takes a look at women in IT from a poststructuralist gender theory point of view. I imagine women on the Autism Spectrum who find themselves in IT face a unique set of challenges where their autism may be an advantage in a field where their gender can be an obstacle. Bury makes a compelling case for defining a feminine role identity... and I imagine it will have little to do with the media representation of women in IT & Science.

Women in IT/Science do not have to look like this

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