STEMming the tide: New perspectives on careers and turnover

Kohyar Kiazad, Simon Lloyd D. Restubog, Peter W. Hom, Alessandra Capezio, Brooks Holtom, Thomas Lee

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The question of why so many people leave science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) jobs continues to echo through social science research and Government policy. This is not surprising given the considerable investments into uptake and quality of STEM education and that STEM workers have a pivotal role to play in addressing current and future grand challenges. Yet, too many individuals with tertiary degrees in STEM—disproportionately women, racial minorities, and the underprivileged—leave or pursue careers in non-STEM fields. While demand for employment in STEM continues to grow, such persistent STEM defections present a significant challenge. We offer an integrative special issue of eight empirical articles capturing current thinking and evidence on employee retention and turnover, both within and beyond the realm of STEM. Our thematic analysis of the articles reveals overarching themes around the fundamental question of why people choose to stay in their jobs and why they leave. From this, we provide a future research agenda recognizing the myriad work and nonwork factors influencing the desire and ability to stay in one's chosen profession, particularly in critical sectors where gender and minority attrition rates prevail.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)335-343
Number of pages9
JournalJournal of Organizational Behavior
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 2024


  • career management
  • diversity
  • turnover

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Applied Psychology
  • Sociology and Political Science
  • General Psychology
  • Organizational Behavior and Human Resource Management


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