Not a Toy for Boys Only Qualitative Insights into Promoting Women’s Participation in ICT in Croatia

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Anita Dremel


women, digital gender gap, ICT, qualitative research


Digital transformation contains the promise of social inclusion and progress, but current data reveal lingering social inequalities. This paper looks descriptively into relevant reports and data with the aim to identify the size of the digital gender gap, the main barriers to bridging it, the factors causing it, and reasons why we should strive to achieve gender balance in ICT. The paper also provides a short overview of some initiatives encouraging inclusion of women in ICT. The main objective of the paper is to provide qualitative insights into gender-related challenges in ICT companies in Croatia based on semi-structured snowball sampled key informant interviews with six women who are top professionals working in ICT companies in Croatia and who were initiators of various events to promote inclusion of women in ICT. The approach taken here assumes that qualitative research can address social problems in powerful and meaningful ways when focusing on practitioners rather than only policymakers. The results reveal positive trends with existing role models and more aware younger generations, but also many socio-cultural factors hindering full capacity development not only of women but even more so of men and the entire society.



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