CHAPTER 10. INVESTIGATING EMPOWERING NARRATIVES AROUND WOMEN, WORK, AND TECHNOLOGY

This chapter examines the gendered ways in which women’s engagement with technology is portrayed and investigates the view (known as technological determinism) that technology is automatically bringing about progress and benefits for women.

Historically, when women have been engaged in fields using technology, those fields of employment are defined as low-skilled and low-prestige (e.g. textile production). Similarly today, although women are actively involved in digital technology production, their contribution is undervalued and the fields where they work become less attractive.


The business model of many large internet-based companies, such as Google or Facebook, is to either sell (and resell) user data or to monetize it through data analysis. Considering this, a new school of thought proposes that online activities create valuable data and might be understood as work that should be compensated. Nevertheless, this work is often undervalued, invisible, and regarded as unskilled.


Early writings on the impacts of technology assumed gender-neutral effects, as if the technology is created outside social constructs and limitations. The potential benefits of ICT need to be viewed in the context of women’s lived experiences of these technologies.

©2019 by EQUALS