Date of Conferral







Amy Hakim


Male-dominated occupations have received increased attention concerning the environmental health and retention of its specialized workforce. Research studies on the impact of the environment suggest that ecological and infrastructure conditions of the workplace affect the psychological health and physical well-being of employees across both public and private industries. Presently, in the context of the oil and gas and engineering field, there is a literature gap in exploring whether workplace conditions or adverse circumstances in male-dominated built environments negatively affect the psychological well-being and retention of women employed in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) occupations. For the current qualitative study, an Interpretive Phenomenological Approach (IPA) was used to investigate the lived experiences and mental health outcomes of 16 STEM women. The subjective feedback collected from the semi-structured interviews indicated that the environmental conditions impacted the psychological well-being of STEM women. Working from the person-environment fit (P-E fit) theoretical perspective, the study findings revealed that the support-oriented services and self-help mechanism moderated the gendered biases and aesthetics of the masculine-built environment, which helped the participants persist in the STEM fields. Given the gender inequalities and occupational stressors associated with the STEM sector, the positive social change implications of this study are the understanding of how numerical representation and organizational support can improve the psychological wellness and human capital retention of talented STEM women working in male-dominated built environments.