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An exploration of new media training and its impact on women’s careers in an emerging sector

Walker, Martha (2012) An exploration of new media training and its impact on women’s careers in an emerging sector. Doctoral thesis (PhD), Manchester Metropolitan University.

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Abstract

This study explores the impact of women-only new media training on women's everyday lives examining the effect women-only new media training has on their career trajectories, life/work balances, self-esteem as well as their hopes and ambitions for the future. The study examines whether women-only new media training gives women a better understanding of the gender-technology relations at play in the workplace and how this affects their career choices and the decision making process. It looks at the everyday lives of two groups of women currently working in the new media sector, focusing on their individual experiences. One group attended a course entitled Multimedia for Women in the Cultural Industries (MUWIC) at the Women’s Electronic Village Hall (WEVH), a women-only Information and Communication Technology centre. The other group attended other new media courses that were not women-only. The study builds on previous gender and technology studies and adds to both knowledge and theory by exploring the effects of women-only new media training on women’s experiences of working in the new media industry, an emerging sector where the knowledge of women-only training is minimal. The study provides information about training in creative technologies that are seen as crucial to the creative economy and that link has not been explored before. The study’s contribution to knowledge is that it focuses on the views of the women interviewed and is critically located in opposition to current policy initiatives that encourage women into the new media industry with no due consideration to the women who they are trying to attract or the reasons why some women may not be attracted to those workplaces. It builds on past research calling for more information on women's individual experiences of technology and shows how women-only networks can indeed create a much needed space virtually and in real life to transform existing gender roles creating real and lasting change.

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