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ERIC Number: EJ1153037
Record Type: Journal
Publication Date: 2017-Sep
Pages: 16
Abstractor: As Provided
ISSN: ISSN-1938-8926
The Intersectional Matrix: Rethinking Institutional Change for URM Women in STEM
Armstrong, Mary A.; Jovanovic, Jasna
Journal of Diversity in Higher Education, v10 n3 p216-231 Sep 2017
This article investigates the persistent challenge of how higher education institutions can support the success of underrepresented minority (URM) women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields. Our theoretical model centers on intersectionality, and we examine the possibilities and challenges involved in taking an intersectional approach to institutional change for this group. Our National Science Foundation (NSF)-funded study focused on 18 universities that received large NSF ADVANCE Institutional Transformation (IT) grants (Cohorts 3 [2005] and 4 [2008]). There were two steps to our investigation: (a) an analysis of documents generated by IT programs as a way of identifying and categorizing "mechanisms" for supporting URM women and (b) conversations with IT leaders as a means of documenting the on-the-ground experiences of those working to institutionalize change. Our data yielded valuable results, including the identification of 5 Intersectional Facilitators, key institutional characteristics that enable change for URM women. Our results also show that while efforts intended to support URM women are typically additive (nonintersectional) in approach, when intersectional approaches are taken, most seek to intervene in the experience of individual URM faculty. We hypothesize that increased attentiveness to a "multipronged" approach--including efforts based on recruitment of URM groups and climate initiatives--will increase effectiveness. Comprehensive strategizing across the group, individual, and climate levels--particularly if the 5 Intersectional Facilitators are used to guide strategies--may not only increase intersectional efforts but also synergistically combine, maximizing the combined positive effects of all efforts to support the success of URM women in STEM fields.
American Psychological Association. Journals Department, 750 First Street NE, Washington, DC 20002. Tel: 800-374-2721; Tel: 202-336-5510; Fax: 202-336-5502; e-mail:; Web site:
Publication Type: Journal Articles; Reports - Research; Tests/Questionnaires
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: National Science Foundation (NSF)
Authoring Institution: N/A
Grant or Contract Numbers: 1207223; 1207250