The science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields has difficulties retaining as well as attracting women. New research finds women working in those fields are more likely to leave than are men.

A report written for the American Institutes of Research finds that while one in six who earns a Ph.D. in STEM fields leaves to pursue a career elsewhere, the same is true for one in five women in STEM (19% of women, compared with 16% of men).

An even higher percentage—21%—of African American Ph.D. holders leaves STEM careers. That compares with 17% of whites, and 14% of both Asians and Hispanics in those fields.

“Because of this attrition, the STEM community potentially loses contributions to scientific and technological discovery, restricting potential advantages gained from diverse perspectives and the availability of role models for underrepresented groups,” write the report’s authors, Lori Turk-Bicakci and Andrea Berger.

Read the complete report here. Share your opinions about their findings or about STEM careers at GlassCeiling.com. Join the conversation.

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