Influencing Girls’ Interest in Information Technology
Gorbacheva Elena, Coldwell-Neilson Jo
The lack of skilled labour that can support digital economies is a worldwide problem, exacerbated by the lack of female participation in the Information Technology (IT) industry. Interventions that promote IT study and career opportunities for girls can be a powerful means to counter the ongoing decline in IT interest amongst females. However, the impact of such interventions is rarely being evaluated. This study is, therefore, aimed at gaining insights into the influence on IT career perceptions of one IT intervention event for secondary school girls conducted in Australia in 2014. The analysis of comprehensive survey data (n=781) using the Partial Least Squares and other statistical techniques revealed that a positive attitude toward the analysed event had significant direct and indirect positive impacts on girls’ intentions to choose a career in IT. The indirect influence was supported by such mediating factors as girls’ self-efficacy towards IT careers and their intentions to learn more about IT, which the event affected directly. In addition to reporting on the results of testing the research model, further insights into girls’ opinions and attitudes towards the intervention and IT in general are provided in the paper.
IT intervention programmes; girls and IT; IT career intention; IT intention to learn; IT career self-efficacy