Social outcome expectations and women's intentions to return to IT employment

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Australasian Association for Information Systems and Australian Computer Society
(c) The author/s CC BY-NC 3.0 Australian
Women leaving IT employment for childcare or other reasons, and never returning, is a phenomenon that contributes to the underrepresentation of women in IT. However, potential women returners, women who have recently left IT employment and may or may not return, remain an under-researched group. We studied the effects of social outcome expectations on the intention to return to IT employment for 182 potential women returners from New Zealand, Australia, and the United States. The data were obtained via a survey questionnaire. Expectations of friendly co-workers, work-life balance, and family proximity were included; and the expectations of friendly co-workers had a statistically significant effect on the intentions of potential women returners to return to IT employment. The results highlight the difficulty of creating an environment that encourages potential women returners to return to IT because, unlike work-life balance or family proximity, friendly co-workers is a factor that is difficult to control via managerial interventions. For practice, the results suggest that organisations should promote an environment friendly to women, which in part may be achievable by implementing agile approaches to organizing IT work.
IT, Women, Social Outcome Expectations
Australasian Journal of Information Systems, 2023, Vol.27