The global Information Technology sector is characterised by low participation of women and the UK is no exception. In response, UK organisations (e.g. Women in Technology), committees (e.g. BCS Women) and campaigns (e.g. Computer Clubs for Girls) have been set up to attempted to address the problem and increase the small and falling number of women in IT education, training and employment.
To complement these initiatives and provide an evidence base for future interventions, this project will adopt a new approach, differentiated from existing research by considering the problem from two unexplored angles simultaneously. First, in comparison with most OECD countries, India has a much higher proportion of women working as IT specialists. The project will compare the experiences of IT workers in India and the UK to see what the UK can learn from the Indian case. Secondly, the research will explore the insights of migrant women and men who move between UK and India. Their experience of both work cultures will be examined in order to obtain new insights into gender norms in IT work in each country as well as best practice. Through this multidisciplinary, comparative analysis across the two countries, and of the experiences of migrants, two significant but separate fields of academic research will be brought together: gender issues in IT, and gender and skilled migration.
The research proposal was developed through conversations with key actors in both the UK and Indian IT industry. As a result, it has been designed to answer questions directly relevant to this important global sector as well as contributing to the national and international policy discourse in this area.