Social Identities, Intersectionality, and the Experiences of Women and Women of Color in Marine, Aquatic, and Fisheries Science Professions

Abstract: In many STEM fields, women are considered an underrepresented social group and have been the subject of research and initiatives focused on increasing their representation. However, research suggests that focusing solely on numerical representations of a single measure of diversity often ignores how the combination of identities influence experiences. This study investigates how women and women of color perceive that their social identities (gender, race, and/or ethnicity) influence their experiences in marine, aquatic, and fisheries science-related careers. Findings revealed positive experiences connected to social identities, including examples of feelings of belonging and positive evaluations of members of their in-groups. However, findings also highlighted negative experiences resulting from social identities and instances of out-group discrimination and bias. While all participants in this study identified as women, findings revealed differences in experiences across racial and ethnic groups, highlighting the importance of exploring diversity and experiences through an intersectionality framework.

King, Brittany D.
Source (Journal Article): 
Fisheries Magazine, September 23, 2022
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