Women continue to be underrepresented in the top leadership positions in the largest business organizations in the United States. One of the many strategies suggested to help women overcome the challenges to their advancement is mentoring. Unfortunately, although many more women now report they have had a mentor, little progress is being made in advancing women to leadership positions. In order to understand mentoring from a woman's perspective and to investigate the impact it has on women's careers, this phenomenology study explored the mentoring experiences of eight women in leadership positions in the sales and marketing sector of the U.S. pharmaceutical industry. The women in this study helped the researcher understand that mentoring for women is not substantially different than mentoring for men. Women value the same functions that help them develop skills that will lead to superior performance. They value the advice and feedback a mentor can give them and the introductions, interviews, and opportunities mentors create. What is different is the array of individuals they identify as mentors. Women define mentors broadly, with the common element being someone who helps them advance their career. A mentor may take the traditional form of someone senior to them in the organization who provides an array of mentor functions, or it may be a peer, a supervisor, or a family member who provides one or two critical functions when they are most needed. All are equally valued. Mentors have played important roles throughout their careers. Mentors helped them get started, took a chance on them, and gave them their first break. Mentors continue to help them gain and refine the skills they need to be top performers.
|School Location:||United States -- Pennsylvania|
|Source:||DAI-A 76/02(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Womens studies, Management|
|Keywords:||Leadership, Mentoring, Phenomenology, Women|
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