“I really didn’t have any problems with the male-female thing until …”: Successful Women’s Experiences in IT Organizations

Erin I Demaiter, Tracey L. Adams


The gendered nature of organizations limits women’s opportunities for advancement. While women have made inroads into many male-dominated jobs, studies suggest they can be marginalized within masculine workplace cultures. In this paper, we examine the experiences of eleven women who have had successful careers in the male-dominated information technology field, to explore their perceptions of the barriers and opportunities women face. We find that our respondents have a tendency to downplay the significance of gender, even as they provide evidence that gender has shaped their careers. We argue that their reluctance to see how gender conditions women’s careers, combined with the technical nature of their field, may have facilitated their success, even though these factors serve as barriers for other women, and prevent meaningful change.


Gender; Organizations; Women; Barriers; Information Technology

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