Women’s ICT Sector Employment in Developing Countries: Dualism of Rhetoric vs. Reality in the Case of Sri Lanka
This paper reports on the institutional tensions faced by women in Sri Lanka pursuing a career as ICT professionals, with particular focus on the role of the ICT sector and its organisations. In considering the findings, a constant thread is conflicting tension – a rhetoric based on equality, diversity, professionalism and opportunity on one hand, the constraints of a traditional patriarchal social context on the other. This conflict can be characterised as a form of institutional dualism. The paper highlights the institutional drivers and forces affecting women's agency as ICT professionals through this dualistic lens, and argues for gender-focussed interventions from the ICT sector.
You will need a PDF reader such as Adobe Acrobat (downloadable from Adobe) to view PDF file(s). PDF files open in a new window.
- What are the typical gender skews seen in the ICT professions, and why are they seen to arise? [Part B].
- What are the key gender dimensions of the Sri Lankan ICT sector? [Part C].
- What are the gendered practices at work in the Sri Lankan ICT sector? [Part D].
- What are the institutional dualisms that shape the employment of women in the Sri Lankan ICT sector? [Part E].
- What is the way forward for ICT sector organisations? [Part F].
- Looked at overall, do you think the ICT sector presents more of a threat or more of an opportunity for women in developing countries?
- Imagine you are the CEO of an ICT company in Sri Lanka. What steps would you take to ensure greater participation of women in your workforce?
- Imagine you are a senior ICT policy-maker in Sri Lanka. What steps would you take to ensure greater participation of women in the ICT sector?
- Are there other examples you can identify of institutional dualism in the ICT sector – a tension between the traditional and the new, which create dualistic behaviours and impacts of inequality?