Retention of Women in the STEM Labor Force: Gender Similarities and Differences with a Focus on Destination Status

Jennifer Glass, University of Iowa
Yael Levitte, Cornell University
Sharon Sassler, Cornell University
Katherine Michelmore, Cornell University

While much recent scholarly attention has been focused on getting women into the STEM labor force, less attention has been paid to keeping them in STEM occupations across the life course. This research follows college graduates in the National Longitudinal Survey of Youth 1979 panel who transitioned into the STEM labor force following college graduation. Using multinomial modeling of the hazard of leaving a STEM employer, we estimate the covariates of leaving to take a new STEM job, to move into a non-STEM job, and to exit the labor force for women and men. Survival curves show few gender differences overall in the rate at which women and men leave their first STEM job.. Multivariate hazard models show that preschool aged children disproportionately encourage job moves out of STEM for women, including moves out of the labor force, while having a partner employed in a STEM field facilitates retention.

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Presented in Session 95: Race and Gender Inequality in Economic Outcomes