Hall Center For The Humanities


Understanding the Pipeline

Ron Ash, Business, and Joshua Rosenbloom, Economics"Studying the IT Workforce in the Greater Kansas City Area: Initial Insights"

Thu., Apr. 24, 2003, 3:30pm - 5:00pm
Location: Malott Room, Kansas Union
Understanding the "Pipeline"

Differences by Race, Sex, and Ethnicity in Education, Training, and Careers

A Policy Research Institute and Hall Center Seminar Series

Joshua Rosenbloom and Ron Ash, Professor, School of Business, are currently engaged in research on the "Characteristics and Career Paths of IT Workers in the Greater Kansas City Area." The project seeks to identify important decision points in the educational and work experiences of Information Technology (IT) workers that have led them to enter and remain in the IT workforce. The results of this study will provide a baseline to examine the special problems of women and minorities who are greatly underrepresented in this expanding and lucrative sector of the economy. Through a survey in the greater Kansas City area, the project will gather data on individual personality traits in conjunction with detailed family background, and educational and work histories. These data will in turn be used to identify aspects of attitudes, family background, and educational and work experiences that have influenced individual decisions to enter IT jobs, as well as to remain in (or exit from) them. Among IT workers we will use these same data to explore differences by sex, and race and ethnicity. The results will illuminate both the similarities and differences between IT and science and engineering career choices. Additional information is available on the project web site http://people.ku.edu/~jrosenbl/itwf.

Despite the substantial gains made by women, Blacks, and Hispanics in the labor market over the past several decades, differences in income are still pronounced. Income differences, in part, reflect differences in educational attainment and occupational distributions by race and sex. Too few women and minorities enter the educational pipeline that, over time, connects talent with high paying careers, especially in areas of science and technology. The pipeline leaks too many women and minorities before they enter high paying careers. Understanding why education, training, and occupational attainment differ by sex, race, and ethnic background will be the unifying theme of this seminar series.

Encompassed within this general theme is a broad array of more specific topics.

? Educational choices. What factors influence students? major choices? What factors in K-12 education influence decisions to attend college? What factors influence choice of college major? And what factors influence students? decisions to pursue advanced training?
? Recruitment and retention of women and ethnic and racial minorities in higher education. How can colleges and universities encourage more diversity in their faculties?
? The effect of working conditions and employer expectations. Do long hours, or other job requirements, affect entry into or retention in particular careers? Do these requirements have differential effects on women and minorities? Are there ways that employers can change job requirements to make them more attractive to under-represented groups?

The goal of the seminar series is to promote dialogue and stimulate interdisciplinary research collaboration in regard to these important issues.

All sessions will be held in the Malott Room, Kansas Union from 3:30-5:00 p.m.

Registration is limited to 60 persons per seminar. To register, contact Laura Stull pri@ku.edu
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