Mentoring Women

Posted: 1 Feb 2013

See all articles by Nadia Brown

Nadia Brown

Purdue University; Purdue University - Department of Political Science & African American Studies Program

Dianne M. Pinderhughes

University of Notre Dame

Evelyn M. Simien

University of Connecticut - Department of Political Science

Melynda Price

University of Kentucky College of Law

Andra N. Gillespie

Emory University

Date Written: February 1, 2013


The importance of mentoring relationships becomes evident as we recognize the value of networking and maintaining relationships throughout our professional career. The significance of good mentorship is immeasurable when it comes to learning how to navigate our profession as well as becoming connected to those in the know. Mentorship is crucial for recruitment and retention of quality female political scientists. However, it may be more difficult for women to establish effective mentorship relationships in our discipline due an unrealistic split between the professional and private sphere. Women often struggle with finding sufficient mentorship in graduate school and as junior faculty due to our male dominated profession. While there are several reasons that women are leaking from the academic pipeline, the APSA Committee on the Status of Women in the Profession 2004 Report found that women “at nearly every stage of an academic career—from securing a tenure-track position to achieving associate and full professor status—married women (both with and without young children) leak out of the academic pipeline at a disproportionately high rate” (University of California, “Family Friendly Edge”). The CSWP recommends, in addition to a host of other areas that need to be addressed, that the availability of mentoring programs are necessary to keeping women in the profession.

This roundtable will address some of the personal challenges and rewards faced by women in their attempt to secure and provide adequate mentorship in the discipline. Focusing on the breadth of a women’s career in the discipline, attention will be paid to mentorship along the ranks of the profession from graduate student to full professor. The goal of the roundtable is to connect women to form mentoring relationships in hopes of establishing formalized NCOBPS Women’s Caucus mentoring program in the near future.

Roundtable Format: The ideal roundtable will consist of 7 members: 2 graduate students ; 2 junior faculty members (one at the beginning of her career and the other more senior, closer to going up for tenure); 2 associate faculty members (one at a research intensive university and the other at a liberal arts institution); and a full professor. This range of women in different places in their career trajectory will afford participants and audience members an array perspectives and possible connections. Preferably, the panel will be comprised of women from different racial/ethnic backgrounds, motherhood status, and those involved in intimate partner relationships. These differences will highlight diverse experiences among women that may forge other identity based connections among the roundtable participants and audience members.

The roundtable participants will be asked to share their personal narrative about their challenges and successes with mentorship in the discipline. Audience participation will be highly encouraged. From this personal perspective, we will draw commonalities and hopefully best practices to be used in the development of the NCOBPS Women’s Caucus mentoring program.

Participants: Evelyn Simien, University of Connecticut Nadia Brown, St. Louis University (Moderator) Other participants have yet to be confirmed for this roundtable

Suggested Citation

Brown, Nadia and Brown, Nadia and Pinderhughes, Dianne M. and Simien, Evelyn M. and Price, Melynda J. and Gillespie, Andra N., Mentoring Women (February 1, 2013). NCOBPS 44th Meeting Paper, Available at SSRN:

Nadia Brown (Contact Author)

Purdue University ( email )

100 N. University Street
Beering Hall, Room 2249
lafayette, IN 47909
United States
7654940460 (Phone)

Purdue University - Department of Political Science & African American Studies Program ( email )

West Lafayette, IN
United States

Dianne M. Pinderhughes

University of Notre Dame ( email )

361 Mendoza College of Business
Notre Dame, IN 46556-5646
United States

Evelyn M. Simien

University of Connecticut - Department of Political Science ( email )

365 Fairfield Way, U-1024
Storrs, CT 06269-1024
United States

Melynda J. Price

University of Kentucky College of Law ( email )

620 S. Limestone
Lexington, KY 40506-0048
United States
859 257-5022 (Phone)
859 323-1601 (Fax)

Andra N. Gillespie

Emory University ( email )

201 Dowman Drive
Atlanta, GA 30322
United States

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