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Purpose–The purpose of this paper is to highlight critical issues facing women of color (WOC) faculty and to synthesize the research literature in order to offer recommendations for action to address inequities using an intersectionality framework.

Design/methodology/approach–The authors conducted a qualitative meta-analysis. Relevant articles were obtained through a search of the EBSCO and Google Scholar databases entering in combinations of specific keywords. In order to be included in this review, the manuscripts had to be published between the years 2001 and 2017; in a peer-reviewed journal; and available through the university library system.

Findings–The majority of manuscripts in the meta-analysis revealed high teaching and service loads, ambiguous standards for tenure, and lack of culturally responsive mentorship are challenges experienced by WOC faculty. Moreover, there is limited research that examines STEM WOC faculty experiences at minority-serving institutions and in leadership roles. Further research is needed to examine the long-term efficacy of mentoring strategies and institutional transformation efforts for WOC. These numerous challenges cumulatively undermine institutions' abilities to implement institutional transformation that impacts WOC in higher education.

Originality/value–The recommendations provided are based on the results of the meta-analysis and are intended to promote systemic change for STEM WOC faculty in institutions through intersectional and transformational approaches.

Keywords - Teaching, Tenure, STEM, Service, Mentorship, Women of color faculty

Paper type - Literature review