Among science subjects, gender disparities are most evident in information and communication technology (ICT). Researchers have suggested that science identification plays a key role in motivating young females to pursue the study and work of science. However, few studies have comprehensively examined the constituting components of ICT identity and its influencing factors from a person-centered perspective. By adopting an explanatory mixed methods design, this study uncovers ICT identity profiles using nine components derived from the literature and examines their influence on the intention to further study and work in the ICT field among female high school students. The sample included 821 female high school students from 13 schools in Hong Kong who completed a self-report questionnaire. Twenty of them were invited for a follow-up semi-structured interview. The result of the latent profile analysis reveals five ICT identity profiles based on differences in the levels of the nine components. Both quantitative and qualitative data analyses indicate that the higher the level of ICT identity is, the more likely female students are to choose to study and work in ICT. Furthermore, adolescent females with low levels of gender stereotypic beliefs and high degrees of parental and peer support are more likely to belong to the highest level of the ICT identity profile, namely, the ICT person profile. In particular, female high school students with the ICT person profile report even stronger intentions to study ICT when they are clear about career prospects, whereas those with the average ICT identity profile display stronger intentions to work in the ICT industry when they have high expectations of career success. The practical implications for ICT education are discussed.
Bibliographical noteFunding Information:
This work was supported by funding from the Women's Foundation in Hong Kong (Project Numbers: 9231198 and 9231202), which was awarded to the first and second authors.
We would like to thank the Women's Foundation for funding the two research projects from which the data for this article were collected. We are also grateful to the anonymous reviewers who provided valuable comments and suggestions on our earlier draft.
© 2023 Elsevier Ltd
- Gender studies
- Pedagogical issues
- Secondary education
- Teaching/learning strategies