The Role of Skills and Peers in Closing the Gender Gap in the Tech Industry: Evidence from an RCT
Last registered on March 12, 2020

Pre-Trial

Trial Information
General Information
Title
The Role of Skills and Peers in Closing the Gender Gap in the Tech Industry: Evidence from an RCT
RCT ID
AEARCTR-0003850
Initial registration date
March 11, 2020
Last updated
March 12, 2020 7:00 PM EDT
Location(s)

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Primary Investigator
Affiliation
Yale University
Other Primary Investigator(s)
Additional Trial Information
Status
On going
Start date
2018-11-01
End date
2022-01-31
Secondary IDs
Abstract
This project analyzes the impact of a computer programming intensive training course (bootcamp) on female's labor market and educational outcomes. It further explores the role that peers have on student performance and final outcomes. We aim to answer the following research questions: (i) does acquiring the skills demanded by the IT sector have an effect on female labor market and educational outcomes? (ii) Could access to a female peer increase the probability of acquiring these skills? (iii) Does access to this peer have impacts on females’ outcomes? In order to answer our main research questions, we design an RCT in Buenos Aires, Argentina and in Bogotá, Colombia. We do a cross-cut random assignment of: (i) a scholarship for young women to cover between 60 and 80\% of the cost of a ready-to-work computer programming bootcamp, and (ii) access to a female peer (in the form of an encouragement to form a work team with another female classmate). This will allow us to analyze the causal effect of skill acquisition and peer effects on females’ educational and labor market outcomes.
External Link(s)
Registration Citation
Citation
Aramburu, Julian. 2020. "The Role of Skills and Peers in Closing the Gender Gap in the Tech Industry: Evidence from an RCT." AEA RCT Registry. March 12. https://doi.org/10.1257/rct.3850-1.0.
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Experimental Details
Interventions
Intervention(s)
We do a cross-cut random assignment of: (i) a scholarship for young women to cover between 60 and 80\% of the cost of a ready-to-work computer programming bootcamp, and (ii) access to a female peer (in the form of an encouragement to form a work team with another female classmate).

The bootcamp is a 170-hour (four-month) course that requires 10.5 hours a week, and it provides training on both computational and soft skills. The former skills entail basic programming skills that are designed based on the market demands. The latter entail confidence-building, leadership, personal initiative, communication and presentation skills, and team work among others. The program also offers a professional development component through which students are trained in job-application practices, and a job bank where trainees are given the possibility to apply for different jobs connected to the bootcamp providers. After completion, participants are expected to be able to build basic web pages and understand programming fundamentals.

The peer component consists of matching two beneficiaries of the scholarship (based on observable characteristics) and encouraging them to form a work team. They are encouraged to work together over the course material, help each other prepare for job interviews. Beneficiaries know they are matched with another one the moment they receive the offer to participate in the bootcamp.
Intervention Start Date
2019-02-13
Intervention End Date
2019-12-20
Primary Outcomes
Primary Outcomes (end points)
Employment outcomes (employment, wages, occupation, amenities of the firm); educational outcomes (enrollment in other courses, enrollment in superior education).
Primary Outcomes (explanation)
Secondary Outcomes
Secondary Outcomes (end points)
Secondary Outcomes (explanation)
Experimental Design
Experimental Design
To analyze the differential causal effect of skill acquisition vis-à-vis access to the peer, the RCT consists of the following arms:

Arm I - Individual Offer: scholarships are allocated individually to women.
Arm II - Paired Offer: in addition to receiving the scholarship, women are paired with another beneficiary under the basis of similar backgrounds, and they are encouraged to work together on coursework material, homework, and job interview preparations, among other activities. Beneficiaries know they are matched with another one the moment they receive the offer to participate in the bootcamp.
Arm III – Control group: does not receive neither the offer of the scholarship nor the access to the network.
Experimental Design Details
Not available
Randomization Method
Randomization done in office by a computer (Stata).
Randomization Unit
Individual.
Was the treatment clustered?
No
Experiment Characteristics
Sample size: planned number of clusters
Randomization is at the individual level.
Sample size: planned number of observations
803 eligible applicants to the bootcamp course.
Sample size (or number of clusters) by treatment arms
Arm I: 211
Arm II: 191
Arm III (Control): 401
Minimum detectable effect size for main outcomes (accounting for sample design and clustering)
IRB
INSTITUTIONAL REVIEW BOARDS (IRBs)
IRB Name
Yale University
IRB Approval Date
2020-04-01
IRB Approval Number
2000025881