The STEM Glass Ceiling
The Influence of Immigration Status on STEM Trajectories of Afro-Caribbean Women (A Narrative Approach)
Keywords:Afro-Caribbean Women, STEM, Black Women, Caribbean, H1-B, STEM Trajectories, Immigration Status, Barriers to STEM, STEM Education, International Students, International Women in STEM, Women in STEM, Black Women in STEM, F1 Status, Undergraduate STEM education, STEM Careers, Graduate STEM education
Afro-Caribbean women initially construct their science identity outside of the U.S. in unique sociocultural contexts where Black is dominant and British-styled instruction remains intact. Afro-Caribbean women often experience the “triple threat” minoritizing effects of being Black, female, and international/non-immigrant when they pursue STEM education and careers in the United States. Using grounded theory methods, I gathered the narratives of eight Afro-Caribbean women in STEM education or careers in the United States to examine how citizenship/immigration status influenced their STEM trajectories. Participants described how their educational and career aspirations were either supported or constrained by citizenship. Immigration status, therefore, operated as a figurative glass ceiling for some of the Afro- Caribbean women in this study limiting degree and career choice.
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