, Volume 61, Issue 3, pp 229–237 | Cite as

Women and the access to knowledge and new technologies: The case of Pisa

  • Gisella Cortesi
  • Michela Lazzeroni


Emphasis has been given to a number of aspects which characterise technological development in today's economic systems and which have an impact on the working environment and on gender differences. Technological change is leading to a strong divide between knowledge “producers” and “users”. The possibility of access to one or both knowledge systems indicates the extent of women's participation in the economic and spatial transformations brought about by the new technologies. This research aims to analyse the development of new technologies and the presence of the female workforce in the field of new knowledge generation, and also to verify gender-related conditions in learning and using new technologies. In particular, an analysis has been carried out of the empirical case study of Pisa, a point of reference for comparisons with other Italian and European cases. The research focuses on: the examination of women's capabilities in the field of new technologies through the analysis of University training courses; the analysis of women's presence and status among the university staff, especially in science and technology; a detailed survey of female employment in innovative sectors. The results of the research emphasise the gender perspectives of inclusion — as regards the application of technologies — and exclusion — as regards the generation of knowledge — of women in or from new technologies. At the same time, the research stresses the growth of women's roles in this sector during recent years and, by reconstructing life histories, underlines the conditions and difficulties that have been met by women entering these new types of employment.

access to higher education level application of new technologies creation and production of knowledge gender differences and new technology high-tech employment Pisa (Italy) 


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Copyright information

© Kluwer Academic Publishers 2004

Authors and Affiliations

  • Gisella Cortesi
    • 1
  • Michela Lazzeroni
    • 1
  1. 1.Department of Human and Environmental SciencesUniversity of PisaPisaItaly (

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