Women in Technology Leadership | About the Research

As a 25+ year veteran working in the technology industry and witnessing its growth along with more and more women entering the workforce, I wondered why more women weren’t entering the IT field.

After all, technology was advancing rapidly and offered excellent-paying jobs with a secure future. Moreover, the tech industry in Silicon Valley was a hotbed for innovation, with other cities such as New York, Seattle, Chicago, Miami, and Austin emerging as tech hubs. As a result, theState of Texas, whose burgeoning tech scene is drawing IT professionals from other cities around the world to relocate, is poised to roll out tens of thousands of tech jobs by 2017.

Women are in a prime position to take advantage of these new jobs. However, statistics show that women are not growing in the number of IT professionals and are also not appearing in IT leadership roles. The importance of why fewer women than men chose the IT field was so prevalent to me to understand why I based my doctoral dissertation on the subject. Therefore, I want to share my research of 10 women, all IT professionals, in the Dallas/Fort Worth area who resided in leadership roles – project manager or above – for a minimum of at least three years in those higher positions. Using a smaller number of participants allowed for a more practical approach, bringing out the individuals’ personal experiences and perspectives.

In all my years of experience, I have probably consulted with around 400 Fortune 500 and 1000 companies. I rarely saw women in the “C” Level conversations during this process. Still, I saw many on the way to the office of the Chief Executive Officer, Chief Marketing Officer, or Chief Operating Officer. Not only did I take on the opportunity to understand this from a research standpoint, but over my decades in tech, I have started companies from the ground up or grown existing technology teams by adding women to previously male-only teams.

I hope that my studies’ findings encourage others to develop their thoughts and create additional knowledge to advance understanding in this area. We must each be accountable for bringing back women to tech jobs as a global solution to serve the world’s needs more productively and with more equality overall.

In this section of the website, you will find the underlying research method and theory that Dr. Alford uses as the foundation for his discussions with women that aspire to obtain or sustain roles in leadership.