ICT Changes Everything! But Who Changes ICT?

Corneliussen, Hilde G.; Herman, Clem and Gajjala, Radhika (2018). ICT Changes Everything! But Who Changes ICT? In: Kreps, David; Ess, Charles; Louise, Leenen and Kai, Kimppa eds. This Changes Everything – ICT and Climate Change: What Can We Do? HCC13 2018. IFIP Advances in Information and Communication Technology, 537. Springer, Cham, pp. 250–257.

DOI: https://doi.org/10.1007/978-3-319-99605-9_18

Abstract

Information and communication technology (ICT) has a changing power and digitalization is gradually changing society in all aspects of life. Across the western world, men are in majority in the ICT industry, thus, the computer programs that change “everything” are most often made by men. Unless questioned, this male dominance can be perceived as a “norm” and becomes invisible. Against this background, this paper will provide three examples of how a feminist gaze can contribute to raise important questions and produce an awareness of how exclusion mechanisms have produce a highly homosocial tendency in design of ICT systems in the western world.

The three cases illustrate how a feminist gaze leading to feminist interventions can make a difference in various ways. The first author presents a case study of a pilot for involving programming in public education in secondary schools in Norway, where a complete lack of gender awareness makes this an offer for boys in most schools. Author two presents a case study comparing the situation in the IT business in the UK and India, finding challenges not only to the situation in the western world, but also to white western feminism. Author three discusses alternative ways of involving women in ICT work, through practices of feminist pedagogy, emphasizing hands-on work.

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