Postbaccalaureate STEM Students’ Perceptions of their Training: Exploring the Intersection of Gender and Nativity


  • Amy Roberson Hayes University of Texas at Tyler
  • Rebecca S. Bigler University of Texas at Austin


STEM, graduate students, gender discrimination, intersectionality


The number of international students in graduate school within STEM fields at US institutions has risen dramatically over the last few decades, whereas the numbers of US women attending graduate school in STEM fields has largely stagnated. These trends suggest the importance of intersectionality to understanding individuals’ pursuit of STEM careers. Here we examined doctoral (N = 270) and postdoctoral (N = 27) students' satisfaction with their graduate training at a large, research-focused institution in the US as a function of the intersection of participants’ gender and nativity. Participants completed measures of occupational values, perceived fit of their values with STEM research careers, perceptions of discrimination, mentor support, and satisfaction with their graduate training. Results indicated that international and US-born women both valued family flexibility more than did international and US-born men. Importantly, international, but not US-born, women viewed careers in STEM research as affording, or providing a means of fulfilling, their values. Furthermore, US women were more likely than international women to perceive their gender as the target of discrimination. Stronger belief that research careers do not&provide a means of fulfilling&one’s values and greater perceptions of gender discrimination were associated with lower ratings of satisfaction with graduate training among women but not men.

Author Biography

  • Amy Roberson Hayes, University of Texas at Tyler
    Dr. Hayes is an Assistant Professor of Psychology, specializing in developmental psychology, at the University of Texas at Tyler.
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Additional Files





Special Issue: Gendered Motivation and Choice in STEM

How to Cite

Postbaccalaureate STEM Students’ Perceptions of their Training: Exploring the Intersection of Gender and Nativity. (2015). International Journal of Gender, Science and Technology, 7(2), 180-204.