Women in STEM: A Research Guide

This guide provides sources and research strategies for critical analysis of women in STEM fields. 

"Inspiring the Next Generation of Female Engineers" is a highly viewed TEDx talk. Debbie Sterling is an engineer and founder of GoldieBlox, a toy company out to inspire the next generation of female engineers. She has made it her mission in life to tackle the gender gap in science, technology, engineering and math.


"Inspire Her Mind" is a Verizon commercial from 2016 that went viral.


White, J. L., & Massiha, G. H. (2016). The retention of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics: A framework for persistence. International Journal of Evaluation and Research in Education, 5(1), 1-8.

Fallon, O. (2019). Factors affecting the attrition rate of women in computing-related occupations. Trinity Women & Gender Minorities Review, 3(1), 109-125.

Tao, K. W., & Gloria, A. M. (2019). Should I stay or should I go? The role of impostorism in STEM persistence. Psychology of Women Quarterly, 43(2), 151-164.

▶Liu, S. N. C., Brown, S. E., & Sabat, I. E. (2019). Patching the “leaky pipeline”: Interventions for women of color faculty in STEM academia. Archives of Scientific Psychology, 7(1), 32.

Shein, E. (2018). Broadening the path for women in STEM: Organizations work to address “a notable absence of women in the field.” Communications of the ACM, 61(8), 19–21.

Bystydzienski, J. M., Eisenhart, M., & Bruning, M. (2015). High school is not too late: Developing girls’ interest and engagement in engineering careers. Career Development Quarterly, 63(1), 88–95.

Hougland Jr., J. G., & Darrah, M. A. (2018). Sponsorship as a strategy for promoting academic success among STEM and SBS women faculty. Journal of Behavioral & Social Sciences, 5(4), 237–249.

Drury, B., Siy, J., & Cheryan, S. (2011). When do female role models benefit women? The importance of differentiating recruitment from retention in STEM. Psychological Inquiry, 22(4), 265–269.

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▶  This symbol indicates a source with a focus on BIPOC women in STEM.

More Perspective on Why Women Leave STEM

Choney, S. (2018). Why do girls lose interest in STEM? New research has some answers -- and what we can do about it. Microsoft.

Lien, T. (2015, Feb 22). Not a woman's place; Many are leaving tech, citing a hostile environment. Los Angeles Times.

Williams, J.C. (2015, Mar 24). The 5 biases pushing women out of STEM. Harvard Business Review.

Fleur, N. S. (2014). Many women leave engineering, blame the work culture. NPR: All Tech Considered.

Hunt, J. (2010). Why do women leave science and engineering? NBER Working Paper No. 15853, National Bureau of Economic Research.


Ada Twist, Scientist is a 2016 children's book by Andrea Beaty. The story encourages girls to develop their interests in STEM. The New York Times best seller sparked a series of books, and a Netflix series.