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This article explores structural support systems that lead to women's advancement and hindrance factors that either catalyze or delay women's career acceleration in higher education, specifically within STEM-related and workforce education disciplines. Through a consensus building approach, a four-round Delphi analysis explored the experiences and perceptions of 17 panelists who currently or formerly served in a senior-ranked position within a higher education setting at five institutions in the Southeast United States. The panel included women who met the eligibility criteria as subject matter experts and held positions as deans in a STEM discipline, principal investigators over federally funded STEM and workforce education programs, and Assistant Vice Presidents. A consensus was reached on nine factors supporting advancement and three factors inhibiting advancement for a total of 12 factors that were considered relevant to the research questions based on the mean score of 3.50. The panelists identified the following factors as relevant for supporting advancement: Support Systems, Personal Attributes, Willingness to Advance, Leadership Skills, Curiosity about New Experiences, Role Models, Opportunities for Leadership Roles, Experiences in Undergraduate and Graduate Studies, and Awareness of Institutional Environments; and those for inhibiting advancement: Conflicting Family Obligations, Lack of Compensation, and Personal Concerns. Support Systems and Personal Attributes were the top-rated factors contributing to advancement, while Conflicting Family Obligations and Lack of Compensation were the leading hindrances.

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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering



Begell House