Mentoring in STEM higher education: a synthesis of the literature to (re)present the excluded women of color

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1 Scopus citations


Mentoring initiatives for undergraduate and graduate women of color (WOC) have provided peer-to-peer relationships and counterspaces to disrupt the inequitable treatment of students in STEM higher education (HE). This literature synthesis explores intersectionality in STEM HE mentoring through pursuing the following research questions: (1) What impact do the social contexts of WOC have on their mentoring experiences in STEM HE? (2) What role does intersectionality play in the structural organization of WOC mentoring models in STEM HE? (3) How has intersectionality shaped the life experiences of WOC mentors and mentees? and (4) How can mentoring models utilize intersectionality to incorporate the experiences of WOC in STEM HE? Thematic findings from literature related to STEM HE mentoring suggest a reinforcement of deficit mentoring models (Fix the URM), a symbolic application of intersectionality (branding gender–race), and a lack of paradigmatic shifts (catch-all). Our specific recommendations presented in this article challenge the epistemic oppression and epistemic violence that current STEM HE mentoring models operationalize.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Article number50
JournalInternational Journal of STEM Education
Issue number1
StatePublished - Dec 2022


  • Higher education
  • Intersectionality
  • Literature review
  • Mentoring
  • STEM
  • Women of color

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Education


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