The mentor relationship is increasingly being seen as an important ingredient in career development, particularly for women managers and professionals. This study examined sex differences and cross-sex effects of the mentor-protege relationship. Data were collected, using questionnaires, from 81 male and 13 female mentors in high technology firms. Both sex and cross-sex effects were observed. Psychosocial functions were more prevalent when women were involved as either mentors or proteges and most prevalent in pairs of women.
PURPOSE: To provide a discussion of some salient research relating to mentoring forewomen managers.METHODOLOGY / APPROACH: The paper draws mainly upon writing and research from the United Kingdom, United States, Canada and Australasia to explore some of the issues that continue to be pertinent for the mentoring of women managers.
FINDINGS: The paper explores some of the early arguments promoting mentoring for women in the light of more recent research. From the literature, three key issues that have important implications for women in mentoring relationships are considered. These are identifying the nature and focus of mentoring relationships; managing cross-gender mentoring; and negotiating the power dimension that underpins the mentoring relationship.
PRACTICAL IMPLICATIONS: The paper provides a discussion of the practical implications of three key issues that are significant for women managers.
ORIGINALITY / VALUE OF PAPER: The paper draws together work in the field and distils a number of issues and their implications that require further attention and discussion.