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The Gender Dimension of ICTs: Case Studies from Australia, the UK, and Vietnam

The streaming video can be accessible through the following link:

Presented by:

Judy Wajcman, Professor of Sociology, Demography & Sociology Program, Research School of Social Sciences, Australian National University Presentation (PDF 37KB)
Le Anh Pham Lob,  Ph.D. Candidate, Australian National University Power Point Presentation (PDF 76KB)

Tuesday, January 24, 2006
8:30 - 10:30 a.m.

Until recently, popular stereotypes have associated ICTs strongly with masculinity. However, in the new digital age, dramatic changes in the economy and in ICTs herald a new relationship between women and machines.  In this seminar, Professor Wajcman considered the gender relations of ICTs, exploring both pessimistic and optimistic perspectives, and drawing on empirical research in the UK and Australia.

Le Anh Pham Lob presented a study of the emerging ICT industry in Vietnam. The study found that the industry is barely five years old and although there are approximately equal number of male and female computer science graduates, segregation based on sex is already happening.  Those women who are being hired tend to be assigned to testing and quality control type work (detail work) while men do the most creative work.  Managers (mostly male) have much higher opinions of the capacities of male programmers, although there is little real evidence to support this belief.

Opening remarks:  Yoshio Okubo, Executive Director for Japan


Nina Bhatt, Extended Term Consultant, East Asia Social Development Unit, World Bank
Samia Melhem, Senior Operation Officer, infoDev, World Bank

Mayra Buvinic, Director, Gender and Development Group, World Bank

Cosponsored by:

CITPO, ITSLC, EASSD, Asia Learning, e-Development Thematic Group, and PRMGE

Speaker bio:

JudyWajcmanJudy Wajcman is Professor of Sociology in the Demography and Sociology Program. She was formerly a Centennial Professor in the Gender Institute and Sociology at the London School of Economics, and is an Associate Fellow of the Industrial Relations Research Unit, University of Warwick Business School. She has previously held posts in Cambridge, Edinburgh, Manchester, Sydney, Vienna, Warwick and Zurich. She is currently a Visiting Fellow at the Oxford Internet Institute.

Judy Wajcman's research has centred on technological change, employment relations and organizational analysis. She is  an expert in feminist theory in these areas and has developed a theoretical framework for the analysis of technology and social change, known as the social shaping approach. She conducted one of the earliest British studies of women workers and gender relations in the home and the workplace, and was a cofounder of the women's studies program at Cambridge University. She is perhaps best known for her landmark study of the gendered character of technology, Feminism Confronts Technology. The gender relations of senior management in a post-equal opportunities world was the subject of Managing Like a Man: Women and Men in Corporate Management, a book that integrates theoretical work in the areas of organizations, gender and management with an analysis of changing patterns of work, careers, and occupational labor markets. 

Professor Wajcman's current research activities include a project on the social theory of gender and technology, a project on domestic technology and the management of time, and a book consolidating her research on the sociology of work and employment. The first has resulted in the recent publication of a book entitled TechnoFeminism.  The second major project explores the relationship between time poverty, work-family balance, and the application of new ICTs. Finally, her new book (co-authored with Professor Paul Edwards, University of Warwick) entitled The Politics of Working Life has just been published.

>>>For more information on Professor Wajcman, please visit

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