Perceptions of a chilly climate: Differences in traditional and non-traditional majors for women
The purpose of this study was to examine how perceptions of a chilly climate differ between students in traditionally female-dominated majors (nursing and education) versus traditionally male-dominated majors (information technology and engineering), and how these perceptions relate to students’ intentions to persist or pursue higher education in their chosen field. Students (n = 403) attending a community college completed the 28-item Perceived Chilly Climate Scale (PCCS). The primary research question asked: To what extent can scores on the five subscales of the PCCS be explained by the predictor variable set of gender, ethnicity, age, college major, and intent to leave the field? Canonical correlation analysis indicated that women found the climate chillier than men, non-white students found the climate chillier than white students, younger students perceived the climate chillier than older students, and students in traditionally female-dominated majors perceived the climate chillier than students in traditionally male-dominated majors. Intent to leave the field was not a significant predictor of perceptions of chilly climate.