Universiteit van Twente, juli 2003.
This case study investigates the users of the Dutch branch of the Webgrrls; Women on the Web (WOW). From the beginning the objective of this organisation has been to make computers and the Internet more accessible for women. To what extend were the inclusion initiatives, which comprised recruitment as well as socialisation instruments, considered to be effective by the female users of WOW? The Board of WOW has put a lot of energy in to facilitating the provision of information to women and socialisation activities.
Mailing lists are an attractive blend of information and community forming for the respondents. From the questionnaires and the interviews, it has become clear that almost all respondents, including starters and ICT professionals, use computers and the Internet more, have more fun and use more different facilities because of WOW.
Perhaps even more important than providing a platform where women exchange information, is the fact that WOW supports a women only social community. This strategy was felt as essential by the respondents, as they felt lonely in a men’s world, they felt like men were degrading them and their level of self confidence and their belief in the power of women was generally low before they entered the WOW community. As a result of WOW, more than half of the respondents gained self confidence regarding computers and the Internet and felt more independent and empowered. It seems WOW was most effective in offering role-models of women that were competent and felt confident, leading both beginners and women that worked in IT to feel more empowered to work with computers.
De studie is beschikbaar als PDF: sigis_case.pdf (133,47KB).