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Technology and Society, 1999. Women and Technology: Historical, Societal, and Professional Perspectives. Proceedings. 1999 International Symposium on

Date 29-31 July 1999

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  • 1999 International Symposium on Technology and Society - Women and Technology: Historical, Societal, and Professional Perspectives. Proceedings. Networking the World (Cat. No.99CH37005)

    Publication Year: 1999
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  • Estrogen controversy and closure mechanisms: how did estrogen recover from being discredited?

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 141 - 152
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  • "Vibration is life!": electromechanical vibrators and women consumers, 1899-1930

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 184
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  • 'Engineeresses' 'invade' campus: four decades of debate over technical coeducation

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 195 - 201
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    The history of engineering education for women helps identify the ways in which observers have interpreted the gendered nature of the engineering profession. Historically, women in engineering programs, even more than in science, stood out due to their rarity. Thus, their very presence led people to confront questions about what it means to be a man or a woman in a technological society, what it means to be a professional engineer. The paper concentrates on four technically-centered schools (RPI, Georgia Tech, Caltech, MIT) which had by policy or for most effective purposes remained all-male up to WWII or beyond. In the debate about whether to become coeducational, faculty, administrators, students, and alumni came to confront a difficult set of issues concerning gender and technology. View full abstract»

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  • Author index

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 402 - 403
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  • Changing the university education of computer science

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 73 - 79
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    In nearly all daily life situations, information technology (IT) is present. The perspectives for both men and women in IT jobs are very good. Nevertheless, many girls and young women don't bother to become computer scientists. The technical image of computer science is determined by the image of the hacker, and women feel excluded. In the project `Informatica Feminale-Summer University for Women in Informatics' at the Department of Informatics, University of Bremen (Germany), women are trying to change this image and to develop their own viewpoints of computer science View full abstract»

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  • The role of women in the history of computing

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 202 - 205
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Long before the electronic computing era, women were already a part of the information processing industry. For the first fifty years of information processing, women had an important role to play-from the women data entry operators of the early 1900s to the six women programmers of ENIAC in the 1940s and the scientific computation women computists of the 1950s. Sometimes an extraordinary partnership occurred, with women an integral part of a team. Sometimes a stroke of fate placed a woman at the right place at the right time to be a part of computing history. The paper provides a personal overview of the role of women in the history of information processing and computing, then gives a perspective on the workplace issues of supply and demand that continue to affect that role. Concern is expressed about the future role of women in computing and the sciences, with suggestions for consideration of new ways to approach the shortfall View full abstract»

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  • Gender differences in adaptation patterns among scientists in developing nations: exploring the case studies of Ghana, Kenya, and Kerala

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 321 - 333
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    The paper examines adaptation patterns among female scientists in Ghana, Kenya, and Kerala and compares their level of scientific participation with that of males. The author discusses whether the inhospitable occupational climate in industrialized nations is relatively advantageous for women scientists when compared to the Third World, where women may be especially vulnerable to deleterious scientific conditions exemplified by less developed nations and characterized by weak research infrastructures, a lack of anti-discriminatory legislation, fewer mentors, and capricious access to the educational foundation necessary to enter scientific careers. In examining the data, however, the analysis provides support to the contrary; women scientists actually have adapted in highly advantageous ways in less developed nations based upon measures capturing presence in the workplace, mentoring relationships, the potential for network collaborations, and resource expectations. The author extends social Darwinism paradigms to explain the unexpected phenomenon through her Evolutionary Adaptation Model, and recommends that feminine patterns of scientific contributions in the Third World be explored in greater detail in order to identify adaptation patterns and institutional conditions that strengthen the potential contributions of female scientists at all levels of economic development View full abstract»

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  • Integrating technology into the mission of a women's center: creating a women's community with technology

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 393 - 398
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    The Women's Center at the University of Illinois at Springfield (UIS) has adopted a multifaceted approach to technology including training courses and a listserv. The Center now has a successful 4-year history of teaching women and girls to use technology, of using technology to leverage the resources and time of staff, and of using a listserv to disseminate information to the regional community. Benefits gained from the integration of technology into the mission of the Women's Center include enabling the university's female staff and students to learn the Web and other computer related skills in a non-threatening woman-centered environment; providing information to geographically dispersed women; and easy access of the Coordinating Council to the director. The Central Illinois Women's Action (CIWA) listserv creates a community of networked women and enables the director to participate in all the area's women community organizations View full abstract»

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  • Why is there a gap in the salaries of male and female engineers?

    Publication Year: 1999
    Cited by:  Papers (1)
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    Summary form only given. Recent studies have found that in the US, women earn between 71 to 74 cents for every dollar earned by men. However, such findings often do not take into account a variety of other factors that alone or together may explain much of this gap between men's and women's salaries. The article examines the gender salary gap in the occupation of engineering, in which women held 10 percent of the jobs in 1995. Using multivariate regression analysis, the authors explored various potential explanations for the salary gap in this occupation. We found that the salary gap is primarily explained by the fact that female engineers, on average, are less experienced than males View full abstract»

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  • The socialist: “silicon ceiling”: East German women in computer science

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 347 - 355
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    Up until the fall of the Wall in 1989, the Communist regime of East Germany promoted policies of gender equality in education and in the work force, but these policies fell far short of creating true equality of opportunity for women in information technology. In terms of sheer numbers, women came much closer to achieving equality in East German universities than was the case in the capitalist West, making up half or more of students in software-related majors. The East German social state was, moreover, set up in such a way that women could readily combine motherhood and a career. None the less, there was pervasive discrimination against women in hiring and promotion. Moreover, gendered thinking molded the day-to-day work experiences and professional lives of women in the information technology workforce in more subtle ways View full abstract»

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  • Workspace design, ergonomics and gender

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 162 - 170
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    Control of the worker and of the labor process, in an effort to maximize productivity, has always been of paramount importance for capitalist management. This attempt at control, historically, has been played out in the place of work or, more specifically, in the “space” of work. The capitalist workplace, as contested terrain and as the source of the methodologies of control, has been the focus of the struggle between workers and management (R. Edwards, 1979). The purpose of the paper is to analyze the historical development, utilization and purpose of workspace design. Discussion will center on material means that are used to deskill and control workers while maximizing productivity and therefore, profits. Ergonomics, as applied science and technology, and its manifestation as the means and method of human/machine interface and subsequent control, will be included in the discussion as well. An underlying theme throughout the paper will be the reduction and fragmentation of the human body into isolated, measurable and quantifiable material components, followed by the reassembly of selective components and their subsequent reunification with the machine. Technology will also be discussed as a boundary dissolving force. Specific topics include Taylorism, the effects of capitalism on work and the worker, and the social construction of workspace, including the impact of gender. Workspace design will be viewed as the material manifestation of management's attempt and need to completely isolate and then dominate the worker View full abstract»

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  • Technology and gender inequality in the defense industry

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 135 - 137
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    The paper explores the role of women in the field of defense based maintenance technical publications developed in support of the warfighter. It looks at the traditional view of women in the field, the stereotypical supporting ideologies, and how these ideologies and the opportunities for women are changing as a result of a paradigm shift in technical maintenance manuals. The simulation industry is one area in which technical women and women who do technical work excel since a great number of these women are educated in the high tech writing disciplines and information technologies that inform the field View full abstract»

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  • The contingent construction of the relationship between gender and computer science

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 299 - 311
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    There is a striking difference in female participation in computer science (CS) courses between developing countries and industrially developed ones. In industrially developed countries, there has been a decline in female participation in CS courses. Less well known is the fact that there is actually a difference in female participation in CS courses and in the rate of decline within Europe. It cannot therefore be said that the rate of decline is directly connected to the level of economic development. In fact, the state of technological development within many Third World countries is very high. Moreover, the globalization of computing implies the requirement of equal competence in CS between nations. Within the European Latin countries and in Greece and Turkey (collectively labelled L) as well as in the Slavonic countries and Bulgaria and Rumania (labelled S), the situation is very different from that found in the Anglo-Saxon, Scandinavian and German-speaking (ASG) countries. After giving some figures, I present six different and context-dependent explanations for these facts. These explanations require an examination of the structural and cultural constructions of the gender-technology relation. While structural causes can explain the differences between the S countries and ASG countries, as well as between the Third World and ASG countries, the difference between L countries and ASG countries seems to be most interesting because it cannot have its grounds in differences of political systems nor in the state of economic development View full abstract»

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  • Women working at the manufacture of electrical machinery, 1904: film and text

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 32 - 36
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    The only significant early industrial films, before 1910, have been made available and show in detail the work conditions for women in heavy industry. These films show Westinghouse workers in 1904 fabricating parts for the rapidly growing electric industry. The literature of women workers from that time provides little insight into their conditions of work, which were different from those of textile, garment and cigar makers, which were better documented. The limited information on the background and work conditions of the workers is presented. The films clearly indicate the speed-up characteristics of the piecework pay system and the physical discomfort of the workers View full abstract»

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  • Women engineers bridging the gender gap

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 206 - 210
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    The number of women receiving undergraduate engineering degrees did not reach 1% nationwide (USA) until 1972. Today, the engineering workforce is estimated to be just under 10% female and about 20% of undergraduate engineering degrees are awarded to women. This scarcity of women in the engineering field is due to a number of factors leading back to the genesis of the engineering field. The paper traces the development of engineering, the evolution of engineering into a profession, the educational requirements associated with engineers as the field evolved, early women engineers, the status of women in the engineering field today, and the outlook for women in the engineering field in the future View full abstract»

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  • The impact of new technology on general aviation: global positioning system receivers, the Federal Aviation Administration, and the small aircraft pilot

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 99 - 104
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    This research sought a method to predict the outcome of new technology introduction into general aviation. The emerging technology selected for this study is a handheld global positioning system (GPS) receiver with integrated moving map. The predictive methodology included benchtesting the new technology and shadowing professional pilots (n=5) flying in day, night, and all weather conditions for five months. The post-technology introduction activities of pilots were collected by NASA-Ames in the Aviation Safety Reporting System (ASRS) database, the predictive methodology produced a total of twenty predicted incidents. When compared with pilot narratives (n=138), 75% are supported in sufficient detail by real world incidents. The results indicate that the applied methodology does produce a significant number of predictors of incidents/errors after new technology introduction View full abstract»

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  • Women and technology: the Spanish scenery

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 105 - 107
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    Since the appearance of the first woman engineer in the 50's till now, a massive incorporation of women in the technology area (more quantitative than qualitative) is being produced. This evolution has placed Spain over the medium world level. The article intends to gather information to synthesize the present situation of the women-technology relationship in the Aragon Autonomous Region and in Spain. Moreover, the change in the latest years is shown, framed in context of the European reference system. The study of the gender variable is confronted not only at the educational but also at the labour market level. Statistics are presented about the evolution of the presence of women from the first education levels and in the choice of the technological options in the secondary level. The situation at University level and in the technological research world is also outlined. With regard to the labour market, statistical data about the incorporation of women into work with increasing reality since the 80's, are included. The article intends to give keys for the analysis about this quick evolution. It gives a historical perspective inside the Spanish framework and hints at future tendencies View full abstract»

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  • Chinese and American women compared: experiences and opportunities in science and technology

    Publication Year: 1999
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    Summary form only given. Reports on the interchange between the Women in Science Delegation of the USA and their Chinese counterparts, during a visit of the delegation to China in June 1999. This program was founded to establish and maintain interpersonal communication among members of the world community. The delegation met with numerous women in China. The aim of the Women in Science exchange was to contribute to the efforts to increase and encourage the participation of women in science by advocacy, education, research and program development. Included were technology reviews, site visits, a visit with a Chinese family, and discussions on the achievements and progress of women in science and technology. Remarkably, women today comprise 35% (or more than 80,000,000) of the Chinese scientific and technological workforce. This paper summarizes the author's observations made during the visit on the historical development, current professional opportunities, problems and difficulties, and the impact on organizational and societal life of Chinese women in science and technology. A particular focus is on women's role in the creation and manufacture of new technologies, in publishing and patenting as sole authors, in research and engineering management, and in technical organizations. Comparisons are made, along the same dimensions, with American women, based on the experiences of the author (and her colleagues), covering over 45 years of continuous work as a scientist and engineer and technical manager in industry and academia View full abstract»

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  • New technologies and the quest for a balanced life: if women are hitting the glass ceiling now, what will it mean if they become invisible?

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 357 - 362
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    The presence of new technologies in the workplace and home has had a dramatic effect on women's ability to balance the conflicting demands of motherhood and professional life. The paper discusses the impacts of technological flexibility on the professional lives of women and the potential social and career-related costs of moving from office to home. The author also suggests a method, Virtual Workplace Intercommunication Tool, to foster more effective electronic communications View full abstract»

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  • Anthropology, archaeology, and the social study of technology: an overview

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 257 - 259
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    Anthropology has always included and continues to include the social aspects of technology and innovation. Despite early calls for the inclusion of this research in the field of science, technology, and society, anthropological research, particularly in the realm of prehistory, has by and large not been integrated into this new discipline. This is unfortunate, as anthropology draws data from a range of human experience much broader culturally and deeper historically than political scientists, historians, economists, and so forth, which can benefit areas of inquiry such as technology and gender View full abstract»

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  • From the basement to the kitchen: constructing the gendered personal computer user

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 295 - 298
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    Users are now appearing in accounts of research in the fields of science and technology studies, and the history and sociology of technology. These accounts move beyond `the user' to multiple, heterogeneous groups of `users' who shape technology through their interactions with and transformations of it. In doing this, the gendered nature of users' relationships to the technology can be made evident. In looking at the introduction of early personal computers into the home, this paper discusses another kind of user: the `constructed user'. These are virtual, somewhat ideal, and probably mythical people for whom a technology is designed and to whom it is promoted. Constructed throughout the life history of a technology by all the various groups in relation to the technology, these constructed users do not reside in physical bodies, yet these virtual identities have a significant role in the design and use of a technology View full abstract»

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  • Dating, mating, and electricity: the impact of electronic devices on courting behavior

    Publication Year: 1999
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    Summary form only given, as follows. The author examines the impact of various electronic devices-telephones, radio, television, VCRs, and so on-on courting behavior. These devices have changed notions of public and private space, and of acceptable and unacceptable behavior. They have altered every aspect of the courting scene, from how persons become acquainted to how they establish contact, in every sense of the word. Yet, should we not expect technology to reflect the social and economic environment in which it was designed and diffused? So, have indeed electronic devices changed courting behavior? View full abstract»

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  • The role of the pornography industry in the development of videotape and the Internet

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 175 - 182
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    The paper examines the significant role of pornography in promoting the diffusion of new communication technologies and how these new technologies have altered the nature of pornography in the last few decades. These technologies include VCRs, camcorders, Minitel, computers, and the Internet. Pornographic products have served to stimulate initial interest in these new technologies, despite their higher initial costs. The attractions are greater perceived privacy and easier access. As each of these technologies matures and prices drop, the role of pornographic products diminishes relatively, but not absolutely. Another pattern is the elimination of the distinctions among producers, distributors and consumers as do-it-yourself video and computers have permitted a “democratization” of pornography View full abstract»

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  • Engendering technology: culture, gender, and work

    Publication Year: 1999 , Page(s): 276 - 281
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    In contemporary Western society, technological professions are gendered, and this differential attribution of meaning has implications for the composition of the professions and the experiences of men and women in them. In this paper, I briefly review a comparative framework which challenges conventional wisdom about the configurations of gender and technology. I consider examples which benefit from examination in this framework, and use them to point out avenues for change in current contexts. An examination of women's traditional activities as being “technological” opens the door to inviting women to think of themselves as contributors to technological life, since they already are in more traditional areas View full abstract»

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