Female IT professionals in Brazil
São Paulo is considered to be the hub of technology in Brazil and many Brazilian women are finding jobs in the growing technology industry there. While questions about women‟s low involvement in technical careers in the United States are being researched by organizations such as the National Center for Women & Information Technology, the American Association of University Women, and the Anita Borg Institute, research on this topic in Brazil is considerably more limited. In January 2011, 10 interviews were conducted with women in São Paulo, Brazil working in information technology (IT) careers. In an effort to understand how they got to their current careers interviewees were asked for their personal stories, perceptions, views, and opinions on career choice, work/personal life balance, employment history, and education. The majority of the responses in these interviews revealed a similar situation and similar perceptions to those expressed in the United States. Participation by females in the male-dominated IT sector in Brazil has been decreasing over the past decades and reasons for low female participation in IT are complex. Interviews revealed that 1) women working in technical careers believe that IT jobs are considered appropriate for Brazilian women, but that technical programs and workplaces are mainly occupied by men, 2) Brazilian women feel constrained by the expectation for women to be primary caretakers of domestic responsibilities even when both partners work full time, and 3) women are considered to be better communicators in Brazil, but most upper-level leadership positions in IT are held by men. This study is meant to be an initial effort on which further research can expand.