Online participation: Shaping the networks of professional women

Donelan, Helen; Herman, Clem; Kear, Karen and Kirkup, Gill (2009). Online participation: Shaping the networks of professional women. In: Dumova, Tatyana and Fiordo, Richard eds. Handbook of Research on Social Interaction Technologies and Collaboration Software: Concepts and Trends, Volume 2. UK: Information Science Reference, pp. 270–280.



Social interaction technologies present women with powerful tools to extend their network of professional contacts. This chapter considers the use of online networks by professional women, specifically those working in science, engineering, and technology, who may face particular barriers in advancing their careers; it explores the potential offered by online participation and interaction for overcoming these difficulties. Recent discussions about women’s networks and networking strategies are extended, and the authors investigate how these strategies are being affected by the growth and evolution of online social networking. Different approaches to online networking for career development are discussed, together with an examination of associated Internet and Web 2.0 technologies and the potential these approaches and tools present to women working in science, engineering, and technology.

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