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Designing Quality into IT by Improving Gender Diversity in Higher Education
  • Education, Quality, Software Development
  • Open Access

Designing Quality into IT by Improving Gender Diversity in Higher Education

Software Quality Professional
December 2018
Volume 21 Issue 1
pp. 25-36
Benton, Morgan C.
James Madison University, Harrisonburg, VA


[This abstract is based on the authors' abstract.] In open-source software communities, one study found that contributors who were thought to be female (based on username, profile picture, or avatar) more frequently had their coding submissions (pull requests on GitHub) rejected. At the same time, the quality of code submitted by the women in the communities that were studied was, on average, higher than that of the men. Although the relationship between gender diversity and software quality is still a subject of active research, non-male identifying genders are traditionally not well represented in educational programs in the field of information technology (IT), which translates to a lack of gender diversity in the field. As artificial intelligence becomes more commonplace, the quality of intelligent systems will depend more on eliminating bias and fostering inclusion, which can be addressed somewhat by improving gender diversity. Based on a comprehensive review of gender diversity and its impacts in IT, this article proposes an illustrative model for future IT education that takes these factors into account and aims to close the gap on the education side: the Flourishing with Information Technology (FIT) program. “Flourishing” is used as the psychological basis for incorporating human well-being into technology education. Practitioners can use this model to explore ways to incorporate human well-being into traditional engineering-based training and education.

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