Pathways for Women to Obtain Positions of Organizational Leadership: The Significance of Mentoring and Networking

68 Pages Posted: 13 Oct 2008

See all articles by Cindy A. Schipani

Cindy A. Schipani

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business

Terry Morehead Dworkin

Indiana University Bloomington - Office for Women's Affairs

Angel Kwolek-Folland

University of Florida

Virginia G. Maurer

University of Florida

Date Written: September 1, 2008

Abstract

The Wall Street Journal, in interviews with top women executives, discussed their path to the top and the importance of mentoring in getting there. The response of Michelle Coleman Mayes was typical. She stressed the importance of having many mentors at different points in one's career, and to mentor others. The question, and positive responses of the executives, indicates the acceptance of the idea that mentoring is important, if not crucial, in helping women and minorities, to reach the top ranks in organizations.

For at least two decades social research has confirmed what many have learned through experience. This article reviews the extant literature that addresses the ways in which mentoring and networking, both formal and informal, may help women executives achieve the highest levels of organizational leadership in business organizations, both national and international. In particular, the paper aims to identify those gaps of knowledge that, if bridged, would help companies better understand how to use mentoring and networking to develop women as leaders in multinational and multicultural business environments. The paper further seeks to identify the legal issues suggested by the mentoring and networking literature.

Keywords: women, mentoring, networking, employment law, business organizations

JEL Classification: K31, K22, O15, J71, D63

Suggested Citation

Schipani, Cindy A. and Dworkin, Terry Morehead and Kwolek-Folland, Angel and Maurer, Virginia G., Pathways for Women to Obtain Positions of Organizational Leadership: The Significance of Mentoring and Networking (September 1, 2008). Ross School of Business Paper No. 1117; Duke Journal of Gender Law & Policy, Forthcoming. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=1281466

Cindy A. Schipani (Contact Author)

University of Michigan, Stephen M. Ross School of Business ( email )

701 Tappan Street
Ann Arbor, MI 48109
United States
(734) 763-2257 (Phone)
(734) 763-2257 (Fax)

Terry Morehead Dworkin

Indiana University Bloomington - Office for Women's Affairs ( email )

Bloomington, IN
United States

Angel Kwolek-Folland

University of Florida ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

Virginia G. Maurer

University of Florida ( email )

PO Box 117165, 201 Stuzin Hall
Gainesville, FL 32610-0496
United States

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