Title

STEMing from Scholarship and Resilience: A Case Study Focusing on US Undergraduate Women Who are Thriving in STEM

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

1-1-2020

Publication Title

International Journal of Gender, Science, and Technology

Volume

12

Issue

1

First page number:

123

Last page number:

151

Abstract

Research suggests a variety of challenges often impede women’s achievement and persistence in science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) careers. However, some women persist in STEM fields and attain laudable professional standing (e.g., academic tenure, supervisory positions in industry). As such, the current study employed a case study to examine the characteristics of nascent STEM success within a diverse sample of U.S. undergraduate women (N = 9) participating in a summer research program. Qualitative interviews and observations focused on understanding women’s STEM career experiences and trajectories to date. Thematic analysis revealed that women’s educational attitudes and opportunities as well as resilience were integral in their ability to thrive in STEM. In addition, women’s background characteristics, such as ethnicity, socioeconomic status, and student status provided unique intersectional insight into the nuances of STEM success. Overall, findings extend prior research, which typically focuses on persistence, by illuminating constructs that enable women to thrive in STEM. Moreover, findings can be leveraged to inform interventions that aim to improve women’s standing in STEM fields.

Keywords

Gender; STEM; Career success; Intersectionality

Disciplines

Arts and Humanities | Education | Feminist, Gender, and Sexuality Studies | Higher Education | Women's Studies

Language

English


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