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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2013003021
pages 143-163

THE RECRUITMENT AND RETENTION OF EMERGING WOMEN SCHOLARS IN STEM: RESULTS FROM A NATIONAL WEB-BASED SURVEY OF GRADUATE STUDENTS, POSTDOCTORAL FELLOWS, AND JUNIOR FACULTY

Elizabeth Yost
College of William and Mary
Vicki Winstead
Department of Sociology, University of Alabama at Birmingham, Birmingham, AL 35294, USA
Shelia R. Cotten
Department of Telecommunication, Information Studies, & Media, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA
Donna M. Handley
Lampstead Solutions, Birmingham, AL 35244, USA

ABSTRACT

This study addresses the dual issues of recruiting and retaining female faculty in the academic departments of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM). The purpose of the study is to identify factors that are important to female graduate students, postdoctoral fellows, and junior faculty as they consider their career options in academia. We examine why so many women choose not to enter academia after their graduate career. We focus on women in small STEM departments as these departments may have important differences compared to larger ones. The nationwide survey focuses on universities that received National Science Foundation ADVANCE Institutional Transformation awards. These institutions should be highly motivated to recruit and retain the new generation of academic STEM scholars. Results from this study suggest that respondents are most interested in having time and freedom to conduct research, finding a "fit" within the department and school, and fairness or transparency in institutional procedures. Universities that implement these policies and begin to address the academic climate may find themselves in a better position to recruit and retain women, particularly in the STEM fields.


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