This chapter explores women’s work in the Irish Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies on the basis of a series of biographical interviews. It aims to shed some light on the organisation of work and on the model of industrial relations in the Irish ICT companies and their implications for women’s employment. It investigates women’s presence at the workplace and their career paths as well as their strategies to balance private and public sphere. It seeks therefore to provide an understanding of the opportunities, choices, limits, coping strategies and detours that organisations pose to women’s work - as perceived by women. In Ireland as in other countries, employment in the ICT sector is traditionally a male ‘preserve’. Nonetheless, during the 1990s, the industry’s rapid growth offered a series of unexpected opportunities to women willing to enter the industry. Companies hired a significant number of women with non-technical skills, alongside those with strong technical competences. In addition, the nature of the tasks involved at work and the organisation of the labour process guaranteed women the opportunity of doing challenging jobs that were relatively better paid than jobs in other sectors. Arguably, then, the sector underwent a process of feminisation in an expansionary phase of the country’s economy. In addition, women entered ICT organisations following the Government’s and other institutions’ efforts to orient women towards more technical subjects at university and in the economy. This chapter suggests that the prevailing configuration of work and employment relationships in the Irish ICT industry produce new and different forms of inequality through a variety of symbolic and material factors. At the same time, women’s presence in the Irish ICT sector is shaped by the ways women develop their own biographies based on the paths available to them in gendered contexts.

Women and Work in the Irish ICT sector

GRECO, Lidia
2005

Abstract

This chapter explores women’s work in the Irish Information and Communication Technology (ICT) companies on the basis of a series of biographical interviews. It aims to shed some light on the organisation of work and on the model of industrial relations in the Irish ICT companies and their implications for women’s employment. It investigates women’s presence at the workplace and their career paths as well as their strategies to balance private and public sphere. It seeks therefore to provide an understanding of the opportunities, choices, limits, coping strategies and detours that organisations pose to women’s work - as perceived by women. In Ireland as in other countries, employment in the ICT sector is traditionally a male ‘preserve’. Nonetheless, during the 1990s, the industry’s rapid growth offered a series of unexpected opportunities to women willing to enter the industry. Companies hired a significant number of women with non-technical skills, alongside those with strong technical competences. In addition, the nature of the tasks involved at work and the organisation of the labour process guaranteed women the opportunity of doing challenging jobs that were relatively better paid than jobs in other sectors. Arguably, then, the sector underwent a process of feminisation in an expansionary phase of the country’s economy. In addition, women entered ICT organisations following the Government’s and other institutions’ efforts to orient women towards more technical subjects at university and in the economy. This chapter suggests that the prevailing configuration of work and employment relationships in the Irish ICT industry produce new and different forms of inequality through a variety of symbolic and material factors. At the same time, women’s presence in the Irish ICT sector is shaped by the ways women develop their own biographies based on the paths available to them in gendered contexts.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11586/11681
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