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Eastern Academy of Management 2019

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The Transformation of Mentoring Relationships in Academe: An Examination of Cross-Sex and Cross-Race Dyads

Because women and racial minorities are disproportionately underrepresented in the upper echelons of organizations compared to white men, they often have to depend on cross-sex and/or cross-race mentoring relationships to support their career goals. Existing literature has found that mentoring relationships may increase the chances for women and racial minorities to gain access to mentors. While an extensive literature on mentoring relationships exists, there is insufficient attention to the outcomes of mentoring relationships. Specifically, not much is known about the mechanisms that enable mentoring relationships to continue, nor about those that cause these relationships to end. Some mentoring relationships barely get off the ground, and even when mentoring relationships work, the average duration is only about 3 years. My research examines the progress of cross-sex and cross-race mentoring relationships within the context of academia. I consider how mentoring relationships develop, are transformed, and when and whether they end.

Catrina Palmer
Rutgers University
United States


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