Female Factor and Team Projects: A Social Sensitivity Perspective
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Software Development is a complex, time-consuming task wherein a team must collaborate effectively over a long period of time. Achieving maximum productivity and quality requires commitment. A recent MIT study concluded that teams with greater Social Sensitivity perform better on collaborative tasks, with Social Sensitivity defined as a measurable empathic ability to grasp others' feelings and perspectives. However, this study was based on generic tasks (solving visual puzzles, agreeing on moral judgments, and negotiating over limited resources) that were completed in a matter of hours. In contrast, software development projects require teams to work on more complex tasks of longer duration. Our goal is to determine whether previous research, not focused on students or professionals in scientific or technical fields, is relevant for computing disciplines. This paper reports results from empirical studies investigating the impact of females on team Social Sensitivity, performance and satisfaction.