Women of color (WOC) in the United States remain an underrepresented population in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) field. Research indicates the percentage of WOC seeking academic degrees in the STEM field has dropped significantly over the last decade. Because of the meager percentages, the lack of WOC pursuing STEM education and professions is a major concern. This study revealed that WOC often encounter a variety of educational and workforce challenges in the STEM field that impede their progress. Some of the primary challenges identified by the participants of this study were an absence of female mentors, coaches, and role models; the existence of educational and workplace biases; personal insecurities, male-dominated environments, ethnicity gaps, and challenging STEM curricula. This qualitative phenomenological research study explored the lived experience perceptions of 10 WOC students and professionals in the STEM field. Eight themes emerged from this study. Theme 1 identifies STEM deterrents. Theme 2 focuses on the presence of gender inequity. Theme 3 addresses the lack of mentors, role models, and coaches. Theme 4 highlights the lack of access to organizational STEM programs and social media networks. Theme 5 documents how WOC must work to overcome challenges and barriers in the field. Theme 6 highlights WOC observations of leadership. Theme 7 addresses the need for leadership to encourage and attract more WOC to the STEM field. Theme 8 deals with offering advice for WOC associates considering STEM study.
|Advisor:||Tanner, Judith A.|
|Commitee:||Robinson, Sandra, Gresham, Margaret|
|School:||University of Phoenix|
|Department:||School of Advanced Studies|
|School Location:||United States -- Arizona|
|Source:||DAI-A 81/12(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, Gender studies, Ethnic studies|
|Keywords:||Diversity in STEM, Gender differences in STEM, History of women in STEM, STEM models, Women in STEM, Women of color in STEM|
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