Gendering Information and Communication Technologies

Gendering Information and Communication Technologies

By Molly DePasquale, Intern

Does gender play a role in the development and implementation of technology? Do societal gender norms influence the perceptions of various Information and Communication Technologies (ICT)? Or, does the evolution of various information and communication technologies influence our societies’ perceptions of gender and what is seen as appropriate or inappropriate?

I would like to take this opportunity, or blog post, to reach out to my fellow colleagues about gender and technology. I am very curious to hear other professionals’ perceptions of how gender plays a role in various ICT in the contemporary workplace.

Information and Communication Technologies are always evolving and changing, which affects our society as a whole. The evolving and changing atmosphere of our society influences our social norms and values on a daily basis. Gender roles are one of the many things that is evolving and changing in our society. Women are entering fields of work, for instance engineering and IT, which in the past would have been exclusively available to men. Historically, the development and implementation of ICT were labeled as a masculine domain with very little feminine participation. Do negative perceptions still exist about women’s presence in science and technology related fields?

Do new communication technologies like Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn or MySpace, to name only a few, become gendered through the users, uses and usefulness of the communication medium? How are instant messaging, e-mail and video chatting/conferencing gendered in the workplace?

Do you think men and women use various ICT differently? Does this advance one gender over the other? Has it severed the gender gap of miscommunication and misunderstanding, or has ICT widened the gender gap?

Please feel free to leave feedback and fill me in on your perceptions and comments on this topic! I would really appreciate it!

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