– Results indicate that no significant gender differences in persistence exist. This finding holds among those in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physical science, and for those in life science. Additionally, the results are unchanged if the sample is limited to degree earners and are robust to the inclusion of individual and institutional variables.
– Although it is clear that women are less likely to choose certain STEM majors, those who do are no less likely to earn a STEM degree.
– Although the results show women persist in STEM at the same rate as men, they do not disprove the possibility that many STEM classrooms are chilly places for women. It may still be the case that women face obstacles that are not present for male students, but perhaps the women who choose to
enter STEM fields are particularly resilient to such obstacles.
– Among students intending to major in computer science, engineering, mathematics, and physical science, parent education level, SAT Verbal test scores, and highest math course taken in high school were each positively associated with persistence.
– Students’ GPA in STEM courses while in college was also significantly related to persistence.
– For students in the life sciences, parent education, expecting to earn a doctoral or professional degree compared to expecting to earn a bachelor’s degree or lower, and attending a moderately selective school versus an open-selectivity school are significant predictors of persistence.
– Black, Asian, Hispanic, and students of other races/ethnicities persist at statistically comparable rates as students in the reference category, non-Hispanic White.