EJ1174441.pdf - Gendered Microaggressions in Science...

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28 Gendered Microaggressions in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics Yang Yang Doris Wright Carroll Kansas State University Abstract Women remain underrepresented in both science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) workforce and academia. In this quantitative study, we focused on female faculty across STEM disciplines and their experiences in higher educational institutions through the lens of microaggressions theory. Two questions were addressed: (a) whether and to what degree female faculty in STEM fields experience various types of gendered microaggressions and (b) whether such experience differ based on participants’ position rankings. Data were collected from tenured (including tenure-track) and non- tenure-track female instructional and clinical faculty in a broad range of STEM disciplines at a large Midwestern land grant research university (N=102), using two adapted instruments. The results revealed that female faculty participants experienced four different types of gendered microaggressions: sexual objectification , being silenced and marginalized , strong woman , and workplace microaggressions . Multivariate analysis further showed that position ranking did not statistically predict faculty experiences with gendered microaggressions, indicating that gendered microaggressions were experienced by women faculty regardless of the stages of their faculty career. Implications and the need for future research are also discussed. Keywords : women, faculty, gendered microaggressions, STEM career, higher education
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29 Female faculty in American colleges and universities experience environmental, interpersonal, and systemic barriers to their participation, academic success, and professional advancement over the course of their careers (National Science Foundation, 2013). Frequently, these occupational, environmental, and interpersonal barriers take the form of gender bias. Bias begins as preconceptions about women as faculty members and their capacity to engage in research and to perform other academic duties of the academy. Such perceptions, and their resultant offensive and oppressive behaviors, impact how women are hired, retained, and promoted. Gender bias adds an additional barrier to those academic areas where the representation of women is low, such as most science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines (Ceci, Williams, & Barnett, 2009; Preston, 2004; Rosser, 2006). Complicating these systemic barriers are significant disparities for female students completing both undergraduate and graduate degrees in STEM areas (National Science Foundation, 2013). While women are earning college degrees in higher percentages than ever, a decline in the percentage of women earning degrees in STEM fields still exists (National Science Foundation, 2013). Such disparity persists after degree completion.
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