"Hybrids" and the Gendering of Computing Jobs in Australia

Gillian Whitehouse, Chris Diamond


This paper presents recent Australian evidence on the extent to which women are entering “hybrid” computing jobs combining technical and communication or “people management” skills, and the way these skill combinations are valued at organisational level. We draw on a survey of detailed occupational roles in large IT firms to examine the representation of women in a range of jobs consistent with the notion of “hybrid”, and analyse the discourse around these sorts of skills in a set of organisational case studies. Our research shows a traditional picture of labour market segmentation, with limited representation of women in high status jobs, and their relatively greater prevalence in more routine areas of the industry. While our case studies highlight perceptions of the need for hybrid roles and assumptions about the suitability of women for such jobs, the ongoing masculinity of core development functions appears untouched by this discourse.


QualIT; gender; Australia; job roles; survey; case study

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DOI: http://dx.doi.org/10.3127/ajis.v12i2.94

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ISSN: Online: 1326-2238 Hard copy: 1449-8618
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