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Moving mentorship to opportunity for women university presidents

T Reis, M Grady International Journal of Evidence Based Coaching and Mentoring 2020

Women remain underrepresented in U.S. university presidential positions. Mentorship is a tool used to support women in gaining access to the position. In this qualitative study, eight U.S. women university presidents of public doctoral granting universities were interviewed about their mentorship experiences. Interviews were then coded and analyzed to understand the mentorship construct. Findings from the data show an interconnection between mentorship, informal relationships, and opportunity. Participants also gained greater support from male mentors versus female mentors, and from informal mentorship versus formal mentorship programs. Mentorship connected to opportunity is imperative in building the administrative careers of women leaders.

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