The Perspective of Black Women on Research Careers

Student Classification


Faculty Mentor

Kelsie Bernot, Biology



Document Type


Publication Date

Spring 4-2021


Long before they were recognized for their hard work and dedication, black women have been at the forefront of innovation in STEM careers. Despite all tribulations faced by these women and other hidden figures like them, such a capacity for greatness is found in black women. When this greatness is nurtured, black women can excel in all fields. This nurturing is critical, but rarely found in all academic environments, leading to discouragement of black women from exploring many STEM fields. Being that the demand for degrees in STEM is rapidly increasing, it is important to understand the effective mechanisms for supporting the success of black women in initiating and pursuing such careers. This research focuses on the perspective black women have on careers in research, specifically comparing black female students to females of other ethnicities / races. Our sample population comes from a Historically Black College/ University (HBCU), a Hispanic Serving Institution (HIS), and a Predominantly White Institution (PWI) . Prior studies have demonstrated that women and minorities tend to hold communal goals of serving others and working collaboratively. This study aims to find whether black women perceive careers in research as affording their own personal and/or communal goals compared to all other women. The survey is the SL-CURE Goals and Career Affordance Survey, and I plan to use the responses (n=188) to create and compare the Research Affinity scores for each group of women.

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