[artinfo] Major Study on Gender and Technology for Policy and Design

Claire Bure c.e.bure at sms.ed.ac.uk
Fri Dec 12 18:34:15 CET 2003

Strategies of Inclusion: Gender and the Information Society (SIGIS)

The results of a major two-year European study on public and private
initiatives to include and attract women to information and communication
technology (ICT) use, employment and education are now available. This
research project, funded by the European Commission IST (Information
Society Technologies) Programme, has published a collection of case
studies and analyses for policy makers, product designers and service

The reports are available online at http://www.sigis-ist.org.

In the first stage of the research, a comprehensive overview of current
digital divides and inclusion measures was conducted, including a review
of literature and statistical trends on gender and ICT.

The second stage of research involved the empirical investigation of
public and private initiatives to include women in the Information
Society, and female user experiences of these initiatives.

The third stage will be reporting soon giving guidlines and analysis for
policy makers and developers/designers of ICT systems and services.

48 Case Studies were conducted on:

-    Public efforts to include women in ICT: Including education and
training initiatives
-    Private efforts to include women in ICT: Including design of products
and websites for women and girls; support networks for female professions
in IT; digital design industry recruitment and retention of women in the
field of digital design
-    Female user experiences: public and private policies and products:
Including women's lack of access to resources, skills and knowledge, and
integration of computers and the Internet into women's everyday lives

(See bottom of email for case study titles)

The case studies were based on public and private initiatives to include
women in ICT, covering a wide range of contexts, from national government
policy to women's networking organisations and design of video games. From
these findings important insights emerged into the way gender and ICT is
understood and managed by many organisations, governments and industry
sectors across Europe. These cases currently form the basis for the
development of analytical tools to help policy-makers, educators,
designers and relevant practitioner communities improve their efforts to
integrate more women into the design and use of ICTs. These policy and
design guidelines will be published at the end of 2003.

Why Study Gender and the Information Society?

The SIGIS project addresses concerns that for some time women have...

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