The information society has often been described as a meritocracy that enables a level playing field for all participants. From this perspective, individuals from underrepresented groups can make it alongside individuals of wealth and privilege. All that is necessary is education and training, perseverance, and painstaking effort. But if, as some argue, it is not a level playing field, then how do various underrepresented groups cope and compete within this power structure? To find this out, a critical analysis of the responses from underrepresented groups to the dominant discourses about power and IT was carried out. A conceptual framework based upon a study of African-American men and women in low income urban communities was applied to the findings of two different studies of gender in the IT profession. The results show a consistent pattern ofresponse across underrepresented groups. In addition, these findings suggest that positive interventions can be applied across underrepresented groups so that IT does not become simply the latest mechanism for stratifYing society.