Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Josephine Moffett, PhD

Second Supervisor

Arlene Hogan, PhD


This phenomenological study delves into the underrepresentation that Latinas experience in the science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) industry, a notable disparity given their increased enrollment in higher education, revealing a significant concern within the STEM educational pipeline. Utilizing the core components of the STEM identity framework (competence, performance, and recognition) in conjunction with the cultural value of familismo, which emphasizes strong familial bonds, the research seeks to illuminate the complexities Latinas navigate as they strive to carve a pathway within the STEM education to workforce pipeline. Using a qualitative approach, the study identifies that the timing of participants' initial interest in STEM plays a pivotal role in shaping their identity as aspiring STEM professionals. Similarly, the narratives collectively highlight how diversity, equity, inclusion, and belonging (DEIB) efforts in higher education can bolster the participation and success of Latinas in STEM. The narratives also demonstrate the complex negotiation that Latinas engage in as they navigate professional aspirations alongside idealistic expectations from their families. These findings underscore the need for earlier STEM interventions for Latinas and call for more intentional DEIB efforts throughout the STEM education pipeline.

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