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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.671 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.2014007429
pages 75-98


Eric V. Patridge
Yale Center for Molecular Discovery, Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut 06520, USA
Ramon S. Barthelemy
Department of Physics, University of Michigan, 500 S. State Street, Ann Arbor MI, 48109, USA
Susan R. Rankin
Department of Education Policy Studies, College of Education, Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania 16802, USA


There is limited information available regarding factors that contribute to the academic advancement of lesbian, gay, bisexual, and queer (LGBQ) communities. In this project, we employ data from the 2010 State of Higher Education for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender People, and our aim was to assess the experiences of LGBQ faculty from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) disciplines. Survey responses from 279 LGBQ faculty members across multiple departments were analyzed through chi-square and binary logistic regression. Our findings from this national study identify several factors influencing the academic climate and subsequent career consequences of LGBQ faculty, and department-level analyses suggest these climate factors may be particularly relevant to the STEM fields. We propose that the comfort of LGBQ faculty members is a valuable measure for advancing the retention of LGBQ STEM faculty members, and we show that both exclusionary behavior and being "out" are factors that negatively impact this measure. We provide potential best practices to improve the academic climate for STEM faculty members, thereby advancing both their persistence and their influence on mentoring prospective LGBQ STEM students.