Women and Mentors:
A Look at The Struggles of Female Mentoring in Large Corporations
Research Paper: Human Resource Management MGT 6003
Dr. Theresa Domagalski
Florida Institute of Technology
Research suggests that even though women have achieved virtual parity with males entering the workforce, within five to six years, their career path’s begin to lag behind their male counterparts. This decline is attributed to the glass ceiling, and mentoring has been suggested as a tool to assist women in breaking through.
Gender bias remains an important role in the gender discrepancy at the top leadership levels in corporations across America. Women have amassed fifty-one percent of middle management positions, but may be passed over for advancement to executive positions because of a lack of unity between the individual planning their career path and advancement practices and organizational development. This can have significant ramifications for firms as they try to recruit and hire qualified senior leaders to close the leadership gap created by the baby boomers retiring from the workforce in record numbers. One way to retain knowledgeably, talented female leaders in middle management is to establish a clear career path, mentoring and growth programs that increase visualness for both the female middle managers and corporate leaders into potential advancement opportunities.
This research paper looks at how role congruity theory and social role theory apply to the fact that women are not receiving the advancements to leadership positions they justly deserve.
Key Words: Mentoring, Leadership, Gender Bias, Women of Color, Barriers, Executive Positions, C-Suite, CEO, Glass ceiling, Career Development
Until the 1960’s, very few women considered a career in the workforce and did not prepare themselves for careers, especially in business. Customarily, they worked at a business until they established families and had children. Once the children were in school, they would go back to work, meaning they had jobs but not careers. By the mid-1980’s research discovered that women did not need fixing, reasonably employers needed to expand the ranks of female managers and professionals as a business capability. A universal finding from organizations’ research on corporate diversity initiatives is there needs to be more emphasis on preserving and promoting women in firm management, which requires a coordinated and sustained commitment from top executives in corporations. Successful culture change measures must have the backing and involvement of corporate leaders.
The US Department of Labor (1996) indicate recent statistics show that 46 percent of the total US workforce are women. Women in leadership positions in the United States has risen from 32 percent in 1983, to 41 percent in 1991, to 51.5 percent in 2016. As of 2017, there have been 64 women, 7.8 percent, who have been Fortune 500 CEO’s and 1,100 women in board seats of Fortune 500 companies. Of these, 207 (3.8 percent) were minority women, 85.6 percent of the board seats were made up of white Caucasian people, and African Americans held 7.9 percent of the board of director seats.
This paper will contribute to the extant literature by focusing on women mentoring and protégé, and what the success rate is of women with female mentors succeeding to the “C” suite.
What is mentoring? There are many different definitions of mentoring. A mentor is responsible for a person’s learning and general development, or as an influential advisor who help others reach important life and corporate goals. Mentoring is widely recognized as a critical improvement resource for individuals, both male and female, in organizations. It has been described as an intense and compelling one-on-one developmental relationship, entailing the most influence, identification, and emotional involvement (Wanberg, Welsh, & Hezlett, 2003, p. 40) between a junior, less experienced individual, and a more experienced professional.
Mentoring consists of two kinds of processes, formal and informal. Formal mentoring occurs in a businesslike setting where a third party, normally at the human resources level, pairs the mentor and the protégé together. Most formal mentorships have clear-cut guidelines and time frames. The goals of formal mentorships can be defined by the objectives the corporation’s program has. Informal mentoring evolves impromptu and is voluntary between the mentor and the protégé. Informal mentoring is unstructured, very flexible, usually intimate because the mentor and protégé mutually volunteer to be in the relationship. Informal mentoring can be more advantageous for both parties because of the likelihood of compatibility between both the mentor and the protégé.
Mentoring has commonly involved a dualistic relationship between two people, a junior and a senior, member of a firm. Another avenue of mentoring that has received consideration is peer mentoring. Peer mentoring associates two people of commensurate status and can range from a large group too small, more intimate groups. Peer mentoring can combine both formal and informal characteristics, but the participants will determine their content. Research indicates that females gain substantial experience from directed or facilitated peer mentoring; this path not only helps women leaders and managers solve problems but also builds a commonality that averts feelings of isolation and burnout (Thomas et al. 2014, p. 146).
Women hold sixty percent of undergraduate degrees and have obtained nearly fifty percent of the workforce but hold only fourteen percent of the senior decision-making positions at Fortune 500 companies. This percentage has not changed in almost a decade. Research has determined that corporations who employ women at the highest levels reap significant financial benefits in doing so. Ernst and Young (2010) report that the conclusion is that corporations who have more women at the top improve the organization’s financial performance. A review of 215 Fortune 500 companies over a 19-year period by Pepperdine University discovered that firms with the best record of promoting women to senior leadership positions were between eighteen percent and sixty-nine percent more lucrative than the average Fortune 500 firms in their industries. So how do more women get promoted and advanced to top executive positions?
Career Mentoring for Women:
Dworkin, Maurer, and Schipani (2012) conducted a multifaceted study where they used coaching programs as strategies for promoting gender management diversification in corporations. It is vital that management have teaching and career progress programs that address the needs of diverse enterprising top managers. The study looked at the design of how to improve the understanding of mentorship and by what means they differ beyond gender and geographical location.
Mentorship’s biggest help lies in three primary areas: 1) career outlining, direction, and educating; 2) preservation and career liability management, and 3) providing a character model and increasing ambition levels. The study asked whether the mentors shared a significant amount of cultural upbringing with their mentors. 66.7 percent of the men and 63.5 percent of the women reported they did. Eighty-four percent of those surveyed had male mentors, and only six percent enjoyed female mentors, but thirty-seven percent of the women had the same. Research has implied that mentoring is genuinely efficient for females when their mentor is a woman (Allen, Eby, Poteet, Lentz, ; Lima, 2004). Improved results for women with a female mentor may be due to the appearance that it is easier to imitate the female mentor’s behaviors. Not having to worry about adverse stereotypes such as acting too masculine, mentors of the same gender will have a better understanding of the uncommon challenges that face women in the workplace principally when the workforce is predominately males. The advantages of having the same sex mentor is not always a prerogative for female protégés. There are too few women in top management or decision making positions to contribute to mentoring junior colleagues, and the few that are in high places are overworked with mentoring roles and responsibilities.
The lack of representation of women in top leadership positions and boardrooms is well documented, and the absence of coaching and educating is correspondingly underrepresented. A study of 2,252 college-educated men and women, over half of whom were in large corporations, cited inadequate career development as the primary reason women have not reached the top rungs of the corporate ladder (Dworkin et al. 2012, p. 366). When mentoring programs are structured correctly, they can and do play an essential role in fostering talent and grooming employees into leadership positions. Mentors provide legitimacy to a protégé, provide inside instruction regarding job-related situations, and provide guidance in the political operation of the organization. Mentors can defend a protégé from overt and covert forms of prejudice even if the protégé may not be aware it exists. Studies illustrate the impact of mentoring is paramount for women in a male-dominated profession, especially if the mentor is a powerful male (Ramaswami et al. 2010). Researchers believe that with sufficient mentoring and coaching programs, women can become more successful in organizations both regarding higher salaries and more frequent advancements (Baugh & Scandura, 1999; Dreher & Ash, 1990; Ragins, Cotton, & Miller, 2000).
It is imperative that American corporations retain their competing advantage by attracting, keeping and promoting the best talent. This must include mentoring females. Mentoring programs are not created equal as there are numerous areas which would make a program more efficient. First, the connection must be cultivated early in a women’s career track. Highly established female candidates should be singled out at the earliest possible time in their tenure at the corporation. Second, the relationship arrangements must be for a minimum of two years to maximize success. Third, the majority of mentoring happens face-to-face in the workplace and corporations must make arrangements to substantiate this. There should be training developed for both mentor and mentee on ways to maximize the association. Fourth, high potential women should be comparable with a mentor that is powerful within the organization. There is a benefit with the mentor being female; however, the same gender is less important than power. Lastly, there is nothing wrong with the woman finding her mentor. This could describe the best approach because of the attraction that is likely to be involved.
There are several phases of successful mentoring relationships. They are Preparing, negotiating, enabling and closing. Preparing for mentoring involves many areas, such as understanding the mentors and protégés unique set of needs, and personal attributes and opportunities that can be influenced via the mentoring process. Assessment tools such as the Myers-Briggs test can be used to determine the personalities, interests, and effectiveness of each person of the mentoring relationship. During the preparing phase, both the mentor and the protégé should decide what their boundaries are and then discuss expectations. Written agreements are used to determine the frequency of meetings, goals, preferred communication methods and personal limitations. Negotiating is a critical component and consulting is the psychological connection that will be developed by the protégé and mentor. Negotiating can be difficult for young protégés because of the authoritative figure of the mentor. Regular meetings, listening patiently and being empathetic helps protégés recognize that they are valued. Multiple mentors can assist with different needs such as having peer friends, career advisors, organizational guides, confidants and role models. Enabling can be awkward because as the mentor protégé relationship develops mentors should consider opening windows into their professional and personal lives for protégés. Mentors are recognized as role models, and the sharing of experiences may enable the protégés to develop more. It is valuable for a protégé to see the depth and breadth of the professional responsibilities of their mentor. Conversations about a typical week, month or day can be helpful insights for the protégé. Career mentoring includes coaching, sponsorship, exposure, protection and challenging assignments. Mentors play a significant role in helping protégés visualize and plan their career. Mentors coach the protégé and provide valuable feedback on their progress toward goals and development as professionals. At times, protégés can get in over their heads and mentors may need to protect them from situations in the corporation where they cannot succeed or from interactions with peers and senior colleagues. Closing the mentor protégé relationship, the mentor must ensure the protégé knows the difference between being knowledgeable and being useful and understanding the difference in making a point or making a difference. Knowledge is essential only when it is used to solve problems.
Mentoring rules of thumb to follow include five points. First, the best matches are sometimes mismatches. The relationship does not always have to have things in common. Different can be good because it challenges the protégé. Second, a great mentor is a person the mentee can learn from. Third, protégés should have multiple mentors vice one mentor. Having only one mentor could lead to floundering both becoming frustrated with the relationship. Fourth, protégés should pick their mentor, not vice versa. Fifth, everyone needs a mentor. The connection is not mentor or protégé; it is mentor and protégé.
Mentoring functions can be reduced into two primary roles, career, and psychosocial support. Career champion involves sponsorship, coaching, and protection, categorized with greater vulnerability and clarity which facilitates advancing careers in the organization and satisfaction (O’Neill 2002). Jennings (1971) found that the majority of corporate presidents had mentors throughout their careers and the mentoring process was critical to their achievements. Psychosocial support is an area of mentoring where the mentor offers role modeling, friendship, counseling, and confirmation in the psychosocial arena which can help establish a sense of professional identity and competence (Kram and Isabella 1985). The psychological functions support a person’s sense of self-esteem and faith in their ability to work efficiently in their profession (Ritchie and Genoni 2002).
Career development for women had received increased attention since the 1940’s when women started to enter the workforce. In spite of the advances that have been accomplished, there are still negative attitudes and stereotypes of women as leaders, and researchers have discovered theories of career development as underdeveloped (Brown, 1990; Hackett and Lent, 1992). Additionally, it is equally important to examine how women benefit from formal supportive organizational career activities because few empirical studies have that focus (Selmer and Leung 2003). Corporate Career Development activities (CCDAs) are important both from a theoretical and practical point of view and may enhance personal involvement in careers which could motivate and prepare women to seek top positions as well as international assignments. CCDAs are organization policies and human capital practices designed to increase career effectiveness of employees and improve organizational efficiency. These activities include job posting, career path information, annual performance reviews, fast-track programs, information on career planning, individual career counseling/testing and coaching/mentoring.
Why are so few women in CEO and senior leadership positions?
Women occupy a significant portion of the workforce and middle management, and they are earning the majority of college degrees, but yet they are underrepresented in government and most professional sectors. The glass ceiling is a possible cause, but that does not fully explain the absence of senior female leaders. Jack Welch, former CEO of General Electric and his wife Suzy (2006) commented on the negative biological perceptions, and the sexist environment was the two most significant impediments that women face trying to achieve senior leadership positions in corporations. Most of the CEOs are male, and the bias is very obvious. As long as firms are meeting or exceeding stockholder expectations very little is said about gender composition of boards and CEO positions. The negative biological perception is directly related to women having children and caring for a family. Corporations have a jaded view of females in senior decision-making positions because of the fear that being a mother will divert their attention from the corporation, and their performance will falter. This means that women deciding to have children will reduce their work hours, travel less, change jobs or quit. This reaction speaks of the role congruity theory in that bias toward female leaders and managers proposes that perceived inconsistency between the female gender role and leadership view women as less favorable than men as potential occupants of leadership roles. Attitudes are less desirable for female than for male leaders and potential leaders.
Harvard Business School conducted a survey in 2002 of female graduates from classes 1981, 1986, and 1991 found sixty two percent had left the workforce ranks, and only 38 percent were still trying to advance in the fields of management, consulting and finance. A study by Saba, a talent management firm, found that only 36 percent of respondents wanted to achieve a C-Level position in their company were women (Belstrom, 2015). Life is about choices and the choice to have children is a personal one. The decision to have children seems to impact the advancement and career progression of women. As long as corporations focus on significant amounts of time and availability, commitment and consistent performance, and as long as women make the decision of motherhood over professional advancement, careers for women will suffer. The social role theory applies here in that perceivers infer that there is a correspondence between types of actions people engage in and their inner dispositions. Descriptive aspects of gender roles originate in perceivers’ correspondent inferences from the observed behavior of men and women to personal qualities; Meaning, roles that men and women routinely perform in their social roles to the personal qualities that are often required to undertake these activities (Eagly, 1987; Eagly et al., 2000). This follows gender stereotypes of observations of people in sex-typical social roles; especially men’s occupancy of breadwinner and higher status roles and women’s occupancy of homemaker and lower status roles (Eagly et al., 2000). Most corporate environments tend to be saturated with risk and competitiveness. The ability for a minority to succeed in an environment dominated by one gender is limited unless the opposition demonstrates a higher than average commitment and willingness to advance. Thus, hurting women.
Female executives who have broken through the glass ceiling were surveyed and asked to define the most significant strategy that lead to your success, and there were three. First, seventy-seven percent identified the most vital policy was consistently exceeding performance expectations. This consisted of working harder than your peers and developing specialized, unique skill sets and expertise. Second, develop a professional demeanor and style that most men will be comfortable around. Third, pursue and succeed in completing highly visible and stretch assignments. Other critical strategies seen as important were having an influential mentor and networking with prominent colleagues (Ragins et al., 1998; Cook ; Glass, 2015). Suggestions for increasing women in senior leadership positions include developing experiences for lower-level managers, encouraging and facilitating a women’s network inside and outside the corporation, creating and implementing mentoring and leadership development programs for women. Establish a structured hiring and promotion processes that hold senior leaders accountable for decreasing personal bias and ensure human resource practices are fair.
Schulz and Enslin (2014) found that there is a difference between career development, career planning, and career planning strategies. Career development is the application of training programs and development opportunities provided by the employer assists employees with professional development and advancement. Career planning is determined as the action taken to access a persons values, goals, desires, interests and career ambitions. It also encompasses setting career goals; evaluating opportunities; engaging in purpose driven networking; hiring a career coach; obtaining career counseling, and taking advantage of educational opportunities. Women do face obstacles in organizations acquiring mentors, especially female mentors who may know their challenges and struggles better than a male mentor. Raggins and cotton (1991) found that women received restricted access to mentors and faced a shortage of available and willing male leaders to become mentors. A second study discovered that women who gained access to male mentors were significantly less likely to benefit from networking and bonding opportunities after working hours (Raggins & Cotton 1999). Career path strategies identified the unwritten rule to advancement for women and female executives. Career planning can help women overcome barriers to progress by assisting them to gain knowledge so they can make appropriate career choices. Creating a partnership between enthusiastic female employees and organizational leaders can mitigate the loss of female talent.
Warren (2009) identified three major gender bias contributors in talent management systems: senior leadership effect, compounding bias and institutionalizing bias, The high-level leadership effect describes a ‘think leader-think male’ attitude towards performance assessments, and women are at a detriment when considering senior leadership positions. Secondly, people prefer to work with and associate with those who share their beliefs, interests, and values; meaning, people want to associate with people like they are. Talent management has stereotypes built into it contributing to institutionalizing bias. Career planning, succession planning, and mentoring programs can intensify the influence of leadership bias on the development, hiring and promotion processes. Compounding bias are vacancies between the design and execution of talent management programs that enhance the disadvantages faced by women. One other bias is Cascading Bias, is a bias that senior leaders, which are mostly male, consciously and/or subconsciously apply masculine assumptions to evaluate leadership potential. Cascading gender bias is often referred to as ‘the good old boys’ club and another hurdle to overcome.
The double-bind dilemma is when women are faced with struggles to overcome contradictory demands that require them to demonstrate different behaviors that set them up for harsh judgment. The double-bind has three manifests: 1) Extreme perceptions: This is gender stereotypes which create an impulse for women categorized as nurturing and compassionate. This labels them ‘too soft.’ However, if a woman act too assertive, she will be labeled ‘too tough.’ 2) High competency threshold is a predicament where women must deliver higher standards than their male counterparts. Women are required to prove their leadership skills constantly or when they must perform at a level higher than their male counterparts. 3) Competent but disliked is the phenomenon where female managers and executives use balancing passiveness and assertiveness to satisfy expectations of colleagues.
Challenges for Women of Color:
In 1998 the Catalyst conducted a study of women of color and found that separate roles of leadership were needed. If senior leaders took the role of macro change agents and front-line or middle-managers took the part of micro change agents this would create and sustain effective diversity initiatives. The interdependence of functions achieves desired outcomes from diversity initiatives and communicates in the axioms, ‘middle managers can make or break policies,’ and ‘successful diversity initiatives require top-level commitment and support.’
The data demonstrates that women of color who decide to remain with an organization are: 1) more likely to describe their firm as one where cultural differences are appreciated. Fifty percent intend to remain where sixteen percent plan to leave. 2) Less likely to depict their company as many adjustments are required to fit in. In contrast, women of color who decide to depart recount less than adequate corporate diversity initiatives that have not worked to address gender bias and subtle racism. Women of color who intend to stay at their company are more likely to believe: 1) senior management shows commitment to diversity by hiring a diverse workforce. 2) corporate diversity programs have created a supportive environment for women of ethnic groups. 3) diversification offers respect for cultural differences. 4) managers have received training in managing diverse employees. 5) senior leadership shows commitment to diversity by placing women of color in senior positions.
Barriers to promotion for women of color were identified by not having an influential mentor or sponsor; a less than adequate informal networking with colleagues; limited number of company role models who are members of the same ethnic background; and a reduction of high visibility assignments. The data show that women of color who intend to stay with their employer are more likely to have managers who: 1) provide them with ample opportunities for visibility. 2) explain and interpret organizational politics. 3) map out clear developmental goals for direct reports.
Studies, literature, and reports describe some of the barriers African American females face as being social, interpersonal and economic. These obstacles easily stop African American women from reaching and obtaining senior levels of leadership positions in corporations. In 2014, women, in general, made up less than sixteen percent of executive leaders in U.S. organizations; only 5.3 percent of were African American women. Women of color encompass women of various races, and the gap is wider for them. 11.9 percent of women of color are in management and professional positions, but African American women make up only 5.3 percent of management and professional jobs. Women outnumber men on college campuses and have earned a third of the law degrees since 1980; about one third have entered medical school since 1990 and women have outnumbered men earning bachelor degrees since 2002. With these glaring statistics, it makes a person ask the question: What are the barriers that prevent this segment of females from advancement to the C-Suite? What tools do they need to use to be developed? One area to start with is diversity officers, CEOs, and programs that nurture talent.
Robert B. Reich, U. S. Labor Secretary, once described a study of the S&P 500 found that corporations committed to advancing minority and women workers had an average annualized return on investment of 18.3 percent. The study was over a five-year period compared with only 7.9 percent for those with the most shatter-proof glass ceilings (Beckwith, Carter & Peters, 2016, pp. 117). In spite of the gains made as a result of litigation to remove overt discrimination, significant systemic factors continue for women to advance to the most senior levels of leadership. These limiting factors are not openly displayed, but lie beneath the surface and are still deeply embedded in work practices, corporate cultures and norms; as a result, these barriers and the results are disconcerting.
A study by Meyerson and Fletcher (2000) found that after women join the executive ranks and approach the top rungs of the ladder, they often jump off because of frustration and disillusionment. As of 2016 women comprised ten percent of the senior leadership positions in Fortune 500 companies and less than four percent of the decision-making ranks of the president, CEO, executive vice president, COO and less than three percent of top income earners. The data for women of color is even more severe. Women comprise 23 percent of the US women’s workforce and hold fourteen percent of the leadership positions, while women of color hold only six percent of the administrative roles. The authors, (Beckwith, Carter ; Peters, 2016) recommend a strategy of little wins based upon small changes targeting specific biases to chip away at these barriers.
The cause of the inequities, fueled by the fact men wrote many of the workplace policies and practices for men not women, and out of the experiences of men; again, exacerbating gender bias here. A 2015 survey data study revealed that women of color represent 16.5 percent of the Fortune 500 company’s workforce and hold 9.4 percent of the first level and mid-level manager’s positions; occupied 3.9 percent of the executive and senior level positions and .4 percent of CEO roles. In addition to the glass ceiling, women of color have to rise to and break through to reach leadership positions; there is another barrier that is not easily penetrated by African women and minorities called ‘the concrete ceiling.’ The concrete ceiling is a limiting factor that affects not only the ability to ascend to leadership positions but also affects the ability to co-exist. This barrier is almost unbreakable and adds complexity to advancement potential for women of color. African American women experience a double outsider status where they report exclusion from informal networks and relationship conflicts, whereas white women and African American men do not experience these.
Research conducted by Simmons (2009) provided some recommendations for women of color in managing their careers:
Know what you want and develop a career path. Evaluate the cost of its implementation.
Be willing to monitor your success to determine efficacy. If outcomes are incomplete, then be prepared to reevaluate the plan and make a course correction.
You must be willing to learn; whether its technology, procedures or processes.
Take responsibility for your career. Stop being passive by waiting for someone to recognize you.
Accept any leadership position (stretch assignments), even if it is a temporary project that is short term, accept it and show leadership what you can do.
African American women often feel isolated. When they advance to the executive ranks, they have placed positions where there is usually only one of their gender and race. This happens because African American female executives are a minority in executive positions, and have few to zero peers of their race and gender. This form of isolation is known as ‘being the other’ in the workplace. Because of this, mentoring and sponsorship become even more essential for women of color executives to assist in their effectiveness and help break down any barriers. Thirty-one percent of African American women attribute the lack of role models of the same race/ethnic group as a barrier in companies.
It takes more effort for an African American women executive to succeed and they have to be confident in their abilities and decisions. Once they are in an executive role, they have to continue fighting against stereotypes and isolation, as well as the added pressure to be successful.
Development of female global managers:
Studies corroborate that women managers can slip past potential global leadership appointments because of the inadequacy mentors, sponsorship, role models, or the connection to networks; all of which are conveniently accessible to their male counterparts. Past years have seen a significant rise in international activity and global competition in many countries which has led to more women hired for lower level manager’s positions. The increase in hiring women into the workforce has been a significant change and is likely to continue. In spite of the growing numbers of women in employment, the rate of advancement of women to senior leadership levels remain low in most countries.
The existence of women in top leadership positions is of distinct interest for several reasons. First, it could indicate a shift in power dissemination between men and women (Ragins and Sundstrom, 1989). Second, it will echo the emblematic importance of obtaining diversity within the top organizational levels, and Third, because of a shortage of international managers that can strain global strategies, the breakdown to train and develop female managers for international senior leaders becomes a strategic human resource issue for foreign corporations.
Mentors of international female managers are characterized as senior ranking, prominent, senior leadership members with advanced background and abilities who commit to providing upward mobility and support to a mentee’s professional career. Even though mentoring is essential for men, it is critical for women because female managers face a more significant corporation, interpersonal, and individual barriers to advancement (Kanter, 1982; Collins, 1983; Burke and McKeen, 1994; Flood 2005). Even though a smaller number of mentors to women exists, women are less likely than men to develop mentoring relationships. There are numerous reasons for the infrequencies of mentoring associations among women in corporations, be it an explanation frequently cited in research is mentors may not select female protégés. This begs that the collection process may be biased by the impulse of male mentors to select male over female protégés. Even though women are absolutely qualified candidates for a protégé role, male mentors could prefer male protégés because they are more comfortable developing professional and personal relationships with other males (Ragins, 1989). An essential element in the selection process is the degree that a mentor identifies with a protégé and perceives the protégé as a younger one of himself.
Linehan and Sculliion (2008) conducted a study to illustrate that forty of the fifty interviewees had some experience with mentoring relationships. Males mentored Twenty-eight of the managers, and six were mentored by females only, and both male and female mentors and mentored six. Ten of the interviewees who did not have a mentor agree that they would have furthered their careers from a mentoring relationship. The findings from the study reveal that a global management mentoring relationship is more critical than in domestic management. When participating in global appointments Mentors provide contact and support from home organizations which facilitate re-entry, in addition to helping the self-confidence, visibility, and promotional prospects of the protégés. The interviewees mentioned that many of their mentoring associations were informal and the mentors were usually senior leaders who provided guidance to them.
Access to mentoring programs should examine if mentoring opportunities are equal across gender lines and to what extent these opportunities appeal to protégés.
Research the disparity in the limited knowledge of characteristics and outcomes of people who do not receive mentoring.
Compare characteristics of protégé and non-protégés and whether individual attributes or participation of mentoring improves career outcomes.
Use a more international and cultural approach to sampling.
Further investigation with regards to psychosocial support in mentoring and how it assists in the mentoring process.
A workplace with a good mentoring program can make it much easier to recruit and retain successful and productive businesswomen. Women earn over half of the professional and managerial degrees awarded each year, and they comprise almost half of the entire paid labor workforce. Companies that have an excellent diversity program and know how to manage it effectively make better decisions, retain key business advantages and produce better products over mostly homogenous companies, and this leads to increased financial gain. If a corporation president or CEO volunteers as a mentor, others in the corporation will appreciate it and see the high priority and commitment leadership puts on mentoring. For African American women, research agrees they face a hypocrisy of race and gender bias in the workforce. The indicated presents many confrontations from barriers to promotion to obstacles for career growth. African women have overcome many of these barriers, but more mentoring is needed, specifically sponsorship, to help them gain visibility that is required for advancement as well as develop skills and confidence fundamental for ascension.
Research has determined that corporations who hire women at the highest levels derive powerful financial benefits in doing so. Ernst and Young (2010) reported that the conclusion is that corporations who have more females at the top improve the organization’s financial performance. Pepperdine University studied 215 Fortune 500 companies over a 19-year period and discovered that companies with the highest record of promoting women to senior positions were between eighteen percent and sixty-nine percent more profitable than the average Fortune 500 firms in their industries. Robert B. Reich, U. S. Labor Secretary, once described a study of the S&P 500 found that corporations committed to advancing minority and women workers had an average annualized return on investment of 18.3 percent. The study was over a five-year period compared with only 7.9 percent for those with the most shatter-proof glass ceilings (Beckwith, Carter & Peters, 2016, pp. 117). If this is true, then why want more Board of Directors requires the companies to promote more women? It’s evident that women make more money for the corporation.
Corporations need to increase their mentoring programs for women and broadening its use both by corporations and government entities.References
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