Navigating underrepresented STEM spaces: Experiences of black women in U.S. computing science higher education programs who actualize success

LaVar J. Charleston, Phillis L. George, Jerlando F L Jackson, Jonathan Berhanu, Mauriell H. Amechi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

33 Scopus citations

Abstract

Women in the United States have long been underrepresented in computing science disciplines across college campuses and in industry alike (Hanson, 2004; Jackson & Charleston, 2012). This disparity is exacerbated when African American women are scrutinized. Additionally, prior research (e.g., Hanson, 2004; Jackson & Charleston, 2012; Jackson, Gilbert, Charleston, & Gosha, 2009) suggests a need to better understand this underrepresented group within computing-a field in dire need of additional skilled workers. Using critical race feminism and Black feminist thought as theoretical underpinnings, this study examined the experiences of Black female computing aspirants at various levels of academic status. In doing so, this research captures the unique challenges that participants experience in their respective academic computing science environments, as well as how participants navigate this historically White, male-dominated field.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)166-176
Number of pages11
JournalJournal of Diversity in Higher Education
Volume7
Issue number3
DOIs
StatePublished - 2014

Keywords

  • African American females
  • Broadening participation
  • Computer science
  • Higher education
  • STEM

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