ERIC Number: ED409493
Record Type: RIE
Publication Date: 1991-Nov-27
Minorities and Mentoring: A Closer Look.
Howard, Jerusalem T.
An ethnographic pilot study explored mentor/protege relationships within the corporate setting of a consumer pharmaceutical firm to determine how minorities were affected. An unstructured interview format was used with 17 individuals in 4 groups: white and Afro-American, male and female. Interviews focused around the history and advantages of mentor/protege relationships. Mentors served three roles: teacher, advisor, and critic. Characteristics of a good mentor were good interpersonal skills, professionalism, legitimacy, and exemplary leadership skills. Mentors looked for certain characteristics in potential proteges--interpersonal skills, motivation, attitude, and intelligence. Optimum conditions had to be present for mentor/protege relationships to develop fully. Continued contact after the conclusion of a work assignment or when formal interaction had ended signaled the start of a genuine mentorship. Racism, sexism, and other prejudices posed barriers for minorities and females when they tried to attract a mentor. Intraracial in-fighting exacerbated the problem created by the shortage of available mentors. Mentors were able to influence proteges to stay by helping them assimilate, offering encouragement, and providing help. Orientation seminars for new employees, seminars for management, and improved performance appraisal systems were recommended. (Appendixes contain interview questions and 16 references.) (YLB)
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Practicum Papers; Reports - Research
Education Level: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A