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Journal cover: Journal of Management Development

Journal of Management Development

ISSN: 0262-1711

Online from: 1982

Subject Area: Human Resource Management

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


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Title:Taking a hard look at formal mentoring programs: A consideration of potential challenges facing women
Author(s):Stacy D. Blake-Beard, (Graduate School of Education, Harvard University, Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA)
Citation:Stacy D. Blake-Beard, (2001) "Taking a hard look at formal mentoring programs: A consideration of potential challenges facing women", Journal of Management Development, Vol. 20 Iss: 4, pp.331 - 345
Keywords:Career development, Equal opportunities, Mentoring
Article type:Research paper
DOI:10.1108/02621710110388983 (Permanent URL)
Publisher:MCB UP Ltd
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.



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