Women, ICT, Values, and the Future

AUTHOR

Krystyna Górniak-Kocikowska and Elbieta Pakszys

ABSTRACT

The paper focuses on the noticeable under-representation of women in the creation and development of ICT. The authors look for the causes of this situation in the history of women and technology. The relevance of values preferred by women for their evaluation of ICT is also taken into consideration. The thesis of the paper is that the difference in the hierarchy of values, in particular ethical values, accepted by women and men might be the reason for women’s lack of interest in the creation and development of ICT. If this thesis were correct, there is the question about the significance of the long-term consequences of the lack of women’s involvement in the development of ICT, especially in the light of the enormous power of this technology, and considering its potential for the future. The authors argue that the existing gender imbalance in the process of the development of ICT as well as in the process of production of knowledge is bad for the future of ICT and for the future of the human kind. Hence, in their own interest, not only women and women’s organizations, but also the organizations and institutions representing the ICT and the process of production of knowledge should become actively involved in the creation of mechanisms encouraging women’s participation in these processes. The authors see also an urgent need for a collaborative effort to create a philosophical theory of the emerging new reality, including the new stage in the evolution of human species.

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