A Mentors Role in the Advancement of Black Women in and to Senior Administrator Positions

Sobers, S. T. (2014). A Mentors Role in the Advancement of Black Women in and to Senior Administrator Positions. In Dominguez, N. & Gandert, Y. (Eds.). 6th Annual Mentoring Conference Proceedings: Impact & Effectiveness of Developmental Relationships. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico

8 Pages Posted: 27 Dec 2015

See all articles by Shauna Sobers

Shauna Sobers

University of Texas at Austin

Date Written: October 24, 2014

Abstract

In the corporate world, women hold less than 5% of key executive leadership positions. The disparity is also prevalent within higher education. One of the strategies for reducing the barriers to career advancement for women and specifically women of color is mentoring. Using resilience theory as a theoretical framework, this year-long qualitative study explored the experiences of four Black senior student affairs officers at small (enrollment under 5,000), private, predominantly White institutions in the United States. The findings revealed the impact of mentors on the career trajectory of Black women professionals through acknowledgment and validation of potential or transferable skills and provision of opportunities for networking. Study participants indicated that the informal tap on the shoulder by mentors was a catalyst that led them to consider leadership positions they might not have otherwise pursued. A key finding from the study is that the dominant model of mentoring (where a person intentionally seeks a mentor for guidance) actually reinforced hegemonic practices. The new model that emerged was for potential mentors, supervisors, or colleagues to make the initial connection to women and women of color not because they lack skills or from a presumption of needing help but because the campus climate may not support them if they ask for support.

Keywords: Adult Education, Sexuality, Gender and Sexuality, and Gender

JEL Classification: M5, O51, J00

Suggested Citation

Sobers, Shauna, A Mentors Role in the Advancement of Black Women in and to Senior Administrator Positions (October 24, 2014). Sobers, S. T. (2014). A Mentors Role in the Advancement of Black Women in and to Senior Administrator Positions. In Dominguez, N. & Gandert, Y. (Eds.). 6th Annual Mentoring Conference Proceedings: Impact & Effectiveness of Developmental Relationships. Albuquerque, NM: University of New Mexico . Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2708550 or http://dx.doi.org/10.2139/ssrn.2708550

Shauna Sobers (Contact Author)

University of Texas at Austin ( email )

2317 Speedway
Austin, TX 78712
United States

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