Ghanaian Female STEM Lecturers and Professors Transcending Barriers: The Kitchen is No Longer Our Place
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The low involvement of girls and women in STEM fields can be noticed at all levels of education, with an inclination for female participation to diminish as the level of education rises (UNESCO, 2016). This is reflected in the labor market where their participation further diminishes all through their career path, and women are generally missing in higher level managerial and decision-making positions (UNESCO, 2016). This is a phenomenological qualitative study which sought to examine the lived experiences of 11 Ghanaian female lectures and professors in the Science, Technology Engineering, and Mathematics fields.
The research questions guiding this study were: 1. What are the lived experiences of Ghanaian female lecturers/professors who graduated from STEM doctoral programs? 2. What facilitated the resiliency of Ghanaian women who graduated from STEM doctoral programs? 3. What support systems did Ghanaian female lecturers/professors ascribe to their success while seeking after their doctorate? 4. How have their lived experiences affected their practice as STEM lecturers/professors? Data sources included phenomenological interviews, artifacts, and the researcher’s journal. Utilizing Seidman’s (2006) structure of phenomenological interviewing approach afforded me the opportunity to collect rich data that served as a detailed foundation for the findings and conclusions (Soesbe, 2012). Colaizzi’s (1978) phenomenological data analysis method was used as a data analysis methodology.