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ERIC Number: ED527811
Record Type: Non-Journal
Publication Date: 2010
Pages: 212
Abstractor: As Provided
Reference Count: N/A
ISBN: ISBN-978-1-1245-6045-8
Mentors Are from Venus and Mars: Exploring the Benefits of Homogeneous and Heterogeneous Gender Pairings in the Mentoring Relationships of Female Senior Student Affairs Officers
Jarnagin, Lea Marie
ProQuest LLC, Ed.D. Dissertation, University of California, Los Angeles
While the number of women entering the student affairs profession has increased, gender equity at the senior level of leadership remains elusive in the student affairs profession. In comparison to their presence in graduate preparation programs and lower levels of administration women continue to lag behind men in their rate of advancement to the senior student affairs officer position. Mentoring is referenced in the literature as an important career advancement tool for women in student affairs. The purpose of this exploratory, qualitative study was to explore the mentoring experiences of female, senior student affairs officers employed in public and private four-year colleges and universities in southern California. The study focuses on mentoring relationships in which the participants served as the mentee. Sample selection yielded a 71% response rate resulting in a final sample size of 12. Study participants reported a total of 35 mentors; 18 female and 17 male. Eight study participants reported both female and male mentors. Participants completed a pre-interview reflection activity prior to the interview to recall past and current mentoring relationships. In-depth interviews were conducted with each participant utilizing a semi-structured protocol. Constant comparative and grounded theory methods guided data analysis. The external checks method was used to examine the data codebook and reduce researcher bias. Two outside reviewers examined the codebook and 1/4 of the interview transcripts to increase trustworthiness of the data analysis and findings. Study findings demonstrate developmental mentors provide important personal and professional benefits for study participants. Findings support traditionally understood benefits ascribed to female and male mentors. Female mentors provide emotional support and role modeling while male mentors provide new and enhanced responsibilities that lead to career advancement. Surprise findings are found among supervisors who serve as mentors and cross-gender mentor pairings. Supervisors hire and promote their mentees while balancing the dual role of evaluator and mentor. Study findings also show no conflict between cross-gender mentor pairings. The goal of the study was to better understand how mentoring relationships contribute to the experiences of women who have achieved the senior leadership role in student affairs. With this understanding, recommendations for practice can be provided to the client, the National Association of Student Personnel Administrators, to maximize the impact of mentoring programs offered to women in the student affairs profession. [The dissertation citations contained here are published with the permission of ProQuest LLC. Further reproduction is prohibited without permission. Copies of dissertations may be obtained by Telephone (800) 1-800-521-0600. Web page:]
ProQuest LLC. 789 East Eisenhower Parkway, P.O. Box 1346, Ann Arbor, MI 48106. Tel: 800-521-0600; Web site:
Publication Type: Dissertations/Theses - Doctoral Dissertations
Education Level: Higher Education
Audience: N/A
Language: English
Sponsor: N/A
Authoring Institution: N/A
Identifiers - Location: California