Women in STEM
In the fields of science, technology, engineering, and mathematics, also known as STEM, a very prominent gender gap exists almost without exception. Whether it is in academia or research for a company, the male population largely outnumbers the female presence in such work environments. A number of studies have been conducted to uncover the causes of such a gender gap, aiming to figure out if it is a cultural barrier, institutional barrier, and if so, what exactly the cause is. With such a plethora of knowledge on the causes of women not being equally represented in STEM fields, I have yet to come across a reading that targets the qualities that women poses who are active in the field. There are women who not only exist within this area of work, but thrive, regardless of whatever barriers may be present. In this research project, I will focus on women in academia at the undergraduate level. My question that I am looking to answer through the research done for this paper is this: what are the internal and external experiences that lead women to and help them maintain their academic appointments in STEM fields?
Through the execution of this research project, I expect to learn what it takes to become successful in these fields. My professional goal is to become a chemist, and as a woman at the beginning this journey, I feel personally invested in learning what will be required of me to fulfill my goal. I know it is possible, and for all the other women who aspire to enter STEM fields, I want the results of this research project to provide information regarding what it takes to make this aspiration a reality. The method I will use to conduct this research is interviewing women in academia and using the grounded theory to formulate an answer to my research question.