I conduct research exploring the “leaky pipeline” of women and other gender minorities in mathematics using a mixed methods approach. Listening to the lived experiences of students and staff is essential in deepening our understanding of the problem and developing initiatives to combat it.
In 2021 a supervised an undergraduate summer project to conduct a literature review to explore UK Higher Education based studies which seek to use qualitative techniques to deepen our understanding of the thoughts, feelings and experiences of women in mathematics. We found only eight formally published studies in the last 20 years which did this. I presented this work at the Higher Education Academy EDI conference in March 2022, which can be viewed here.
In a 2022 summer project we set out to fill this gap through interviews with mathematics PhD students at Newcastle University. Through a series of one-to-one interviews we explored how participants felt their gender had or had not impacted their experiences as a mathematics PhD student, including their confidence, identity as a mathematician and future career choices. We are currently working to analyse the qualitative data collected from this study.