The Discourse of Rurality in Women’s Professional- life Narratives: Gender and ICT in Rural Norway
Despite the ongoing digitalization producing many jobs in rural areas, the recruitment of women into ICT remains a critical challenge. This chapter analyzes the entanglements of the global trend of digitalization with the locally enacted structures of gendered working and living in a rural region of western Norway based on professional-life narratives of 25 women working in ICT. The analysis explores the types of ICT workplaces the women found and the characteristics of working life in the region including the importance of concepts such as ‘place-belongingness’ and the ‘idyllic rurality’. The increase of ICT workplaces in this region has provided opportunities for women to find less traditional work in the region. The findings suggest that the ongoing digitalization across sectors has opened up a particular type of ICT work opportunities that attract women to ICT jobs in the public and private secondary ICT sector. This contributes to a new gendering of ICT work as it includes organizations and industries where ICT expertise is not already occupied by men or images of masculinity.