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Taking a hard look at formal mentoring programs: A consideration of potential challenges facing women

Stacy D. Blake‐Beard (Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Article publication date: 1 May 2001

Abstract

Research indicates that although women have achieved virtual parity with men when entering organizations, within five to six years their careers begin to lag behind those of their male counterparts. This lag is often attributed to the glass ceiling and mentoring has been suggested as one tool to assist women in breaking through. We still have very little empirical research that informs our understanding of the effectiveness of formal mentoring in comparison to informal mentoring relationships. The purpose of this article is to take a hard look at formal mentoring programs and the implications for women participating in them. It compares formal mentoring to informal mentoring. It focuses on the practice of formal mentoring relationships and the unique challenges that women may face as they negotiate these planned relationships as well as some suggested strategies to deal with these challenges. It concludes by discussing the implications of this work as well as alternative sources of support for women.

Keywords

Citation

Blake‐Beard, S.D. (2001), "Taking a hard look at formal mentoring programs: A consideration of potential challenges facing women", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 20 No. 4, pp. 331-345. https://doi.org/10.1108/02621710110388983

Publisher

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MCB UP Ltd

Copyright © 2001, MCB UP Limited