STEM Fields’ Demographic, Career and Academic Inclusivity: Changes in the U.S. 1995-2014

Yun Kyung Cho, University of Wisconsin-Madison

While the dominant leaky pipeline model emphasizes the low proportion of women in STEM fields, academic careers time is shorter for female STEM majors than their male counterparts. To better understand this female advantage in STEM, this study proposes the careers trajectories framework to consider the uneven academic careers time from high school diploma through STEM doctorate in terms of STEM fields’ inclusivity. This study conceptualizes and measures a field’s inclusivity in three ways: 1) demographic inclusivity for female, non-White, non-US citizens; 2) career inclusivity for those of nonacademic careers; and 3) academic inclusivity for doctorate recipients who have majored in different academic major fields of study for their baccalaureate. Analyzing data of the National Survey of College Graduates of 2017 with descriptive statistics and multivariate models, this study finds that the female advantage in the STEM academic careers time varies not solely by gender but interactively by academic major field of study and other individual demographics, such as race and US citizenship status. In addition, STEM fields’ career and academic inclusivity is found to differentiate STEM majors in gendered, racialized and internationalized ways and to have been changing across doctorate degree cohorts over the last 20 years. The multiply intersecting inclusivity in STEM fields sheds light on the dominant leaky pipeline model’s simplistic binary lens focusing on gender only and separately from other individual demographics, and also calls attention to the importance of field-level contexts as well as individual-level demographics as predictors of gendered STEM career trajectories.

No extended abstract or paper available

 Presented in Session 172. Gender, Labor, and Power