What’s Human Resources Got to Do with It? Women’s Job Satisfaction in STEM Companies

Date of Award

Spring 2022

Document Type




First Advisor

Rebecca Overmyer-Velázquez


Women in the United States workforce experience challenges that decrease their job satisfaction. As valuable assets, it is important for female employees to remain satisfied with their jobs. Previous research discusses the effects of job satisfaction in STEM companies where male employees are often accounted for, while little is known about women, thus remaining disregarded. Further research is necessary to include women’s feelings and perceptions of their jobs. The significance of this research focused on women employees in male-dominated industries in the STEM field. The purpose of this study was to provide information on women’s job satisfaction from the perspectives of the human resources department. About 75.2% of HR professionals are females, thus the majority of women administer policies and practices that help or hinder female job satisfaction (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021). To understand the societal and structural effects of women’s job satisfaction in STEM companies, HR was important to consider to help prevent and reveal gendered barriers to job satisfaction in the workplace. How do human resources shape, identify, and implement the conditions of its female employees' job satisfaction in STEM companies? By using previous HR connections, 5 female HR member participants, ages 27 to 47 were contacted from 3 different companies representing small manufacturing and entertainment industries. Data suggest these companies are male-dominated as 12.6% of women work in steel manufacturing companies, 46.4% in pharmaceutical manufacturing, and 43.6% in broadcasting (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 2021). Further findings indicate women are having issues with pay, advancements, sexual harassment training, bias, and obtaining high positions. Despite the fact that there were no reported cases of gendered barriers and female employees were viewed to have job satisfaction, work-life balance and HR’s lack of awareness regarding microaggressions appear to negatively impact its female employees.

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