Women's mentoring wisdom: Understanding the factors mediating the formation of effective mentoring relationships for mid-career women

Rosina L Racioppi, University of Pennsylvania

Abstract

Over the past two decades, the number of women in the workplace has steadily increased. Although women represent over 51% of the professional workforce (Catalyst, 2012), the majority of women reside in the middle management ranks of organizations. Barriers to women's advancement include lack of general management experience, exclusion from informal networks, and preconceptions of women's roles and abilities. There has been significant discussion and research to understand how women can overcome these barriers. One consistent strategy highlighted in this research is the impact mentoring relationships have on women's understanding of how to effectively navigate their organization and evolve their career. WOMEN Unlimited was founded to provide leadership development programs for women in Fortune 500 companies. The programs create a safe environment in which women learn how to modify their skills and behaviors to advance their careers. Mentoring is one of the key components of the learning process embedded WOMEN Unlimited Programs. There has been considerable research since then seeking to understand mentorship and how it compares with other organizational relationships. There has also been research on the functions of mentoring, assessing how mentoring programs are designed (formal or informal) and the implications of mentoring based on gender, age, and race. However, the manner in which women engage in mentoring relationships is a key element missing in much of the literature on mentoring and the advancement of women. The goal of this study is to understand the factors that mediate the formation of effective mentoring relationships for mid-career women.

Subject Area

Womens studies|Business education|Organizational behavior|Gender studies

Recommended Citation

Racioppi, Rosina L, "Women's mentoring wisdom: Understanding the factors mediating the formation of effective mentoring relationships for mid-career women" (2013). Dissertations available from ProQuest. AAI3592890.
https://repository.upenn.edu/dissertations/AAI3592890

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