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How do women maximize the value of mentorship? Insights from mentees, mentors, and industry professionals

Dustin C. Read (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)
Patti J. Fisher (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)
Luke Juran (Virginia Tech, Blacksburg, Virginia, USA)

Leadership & Organization Development Journal

ISSN: 0143-7739

Article publication date: 15 January 2020

Issue publication date: 13 April 2020




The purpose of this paper is to explore the perceptions of women working in the commercial real estate industry to assess how they approach mentoring relationships and take steps to maximize the value derived therefrom.


Through thematic analysis of 39 interviews conducted with women serving as local chapter presidents of CREW Network, the paper offers insights as to how women position themselves to receive mentorship throughout their careers and engage with mentors to address their evolving needs. In particular, three themes of commitment, reciprocity in the mentoring relationship and mentee motivation emerged.


The results suggest that this is a strategic process and one in which many women are proactively engaging to ascend to leadership positions in the corporate world. While the study is limited to those working in commercial real estate, clear implications exist for other industries.


By identifying and exploring these themes, the paper serves as a starting point for future research considering how women inside and outside of the commercial real estate industry can more strategically pursue mentorship and use it to attain leadership roles.



Read, D.C., Fisher, P.J. and Juran, L. (2020), "How do women maximize the value of mentorship? Insights from mentees, mentors, and industry professionals", Leadership & Organization Development Journal, Vol. 41 No. 2, pp. 165-175.



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Copyright © 2020, Emerald Publishing Limited

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