A mixed methods study of gender, stem department climate, and workplace outcomes

Rebecca Rife, Tamera Schneider, Amy Hillard, Emily Polander, Sarah Jackson, Peggy DesAutels, Michele Wheatly

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

38 Scopus citations


The present study used a workplace climate survey (N = 252) and semi-structured interviews (N = 12) to investigate faculty perceptions of, and experiences in, their STEM departments across four diverse institutions in order to understand barriers to women's success. We found that although men and women are equally productive, women report that their department perceives them as less productive than men. Similarly, women believe they have less influence on, and experience less collegiality in, their departments than men. Women also perceive more sexism and discrimination than men. These quantitative findings are supplemented with qualitative data to more fully understand faculty perspectives. In addition, we found that workplace outcomes such as job satisfaction and turnover intentions are affected by the department climate for both men and women faculty members, which suggests that improving the climate serves all faculty members. Specific recommendations to improve STEM academic climates are discussed.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)227-243
Number of pages17
JournalJournal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
Issue number3
StatePublished - 2013
Externally publishedYes


  • Faculty retention
  • Job satisfaction
  • Quantitative
  • STEM women faculty
  • Workplace climate

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Gender Studies
  • Engineering (miscellaneous)


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