Dissertation/Thesis Abstract

Women staying in STEM professions long-term: A motivation model
by Coatesworth, Megan Gebhardt, Psy.D., The University of the Rockies, 2015, 158; 3686149
Abstract (Summary)

This qualitative grounded theory study sought to identify what motivates women to stay in or return to science, technology, engineering, and math professions (STEM) long-term, leading to a motivation model. Twenty women, each having a minimum of 10 years of experience in STEM professions, participated in the study. Four of the 20 participants had a career path where they left the STEM workplace for more than 26 weeks and then returned. The results of this study suggested that there may be five themes related to motivating factors for women who stay in STEM professions long term: a) interest in STEM is the constant as individual needs and priorities change, b) direct manager influence on development is critical c) performance-based workplace policies and culture are continuously sought, d) moving towards a no-bias workplace remains important, and e) the career growth path at life's crossroads remains a challenge. While this study's results suggested that some bias does still exist in the STEM workplace, as previously documented. The results suggested that an equitable workplace does not yet exist regarding career growth opportunities. As career growth is one of the motivating factors for women in STEM and environments for career growth opportunities vary in the workplace, this study's results also suggested that career growth opportunities continue to be a barrier for women in STEM.

Indexing (document details)
Advisor: Secrest, Wayland
Commitee: Robbins, Lani, Stein, Irene
School: The University of the Rockies
Department: Organizational Leadership
School Location: United States -- Colorado
Source: DAI-B 76/08(E), Dissertation Abstracts International
Source Type: DISSERTATION
Subjects: Womens studies, Occupational psychology, Organizational behavior
Keywords: Career growth, Grounded theory, Modern workplace, Motivation, Stem, Women
Publication Number: 3686149
ISBN: 9781321628852
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