Career experiences of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields: A systematic literature review Academic Article uri icon


  • AbstractThis article offers a systematic review and synthesis of 28 empirical studies exploring the career experiences of women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Three central questions guided this review, and findings show that theoretically, women's career experiences are mostly studied from behavioral and organizational perspectives. Methodologically, a balanced approach (both quantitative and qualitative) was adopted in these the studies. The empirical evidence suggests that STEM women's career experiences are largely shaped by their own personal characteristics (motivation, selfefficacy, and passion) and influenced by their parents, male colleagues, and human resources (HR) practices. Meanwhile, STEM women continue to face a myriad of challenges in a predominantly masculine environment (gendered organizational culture, genderbased stereotypes, struggle with worklife balance, and lack of mentors). To cope with these challenges, STEM women in the reviewed studies use three types of strategiesconforming, impression management, and proactivity. Based on our review, we derive implications for theory and practice, as well as an agenda for future research.

published proceedings


altmetric score

  • 19.6

author list (cited authors)

  • Makarem, Y., & Wang, J.

citation count

  • 39

complete list of authors

  • Makarem, Yasmeen||Wang, Jia

publication date

  • February 2020