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Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering
SJR: 0.468 SNIP: 0.905 CiteScore™: 1.65

ISSN Print: 1072-8325
ISSN Online: 1940-431X

Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering

DOI: 10.1615/JWomenMinorScienEng.v17.i1.50
pages 51-68

MALE MANAGERS' PERCEPTIONS OF THE ROLE OF MENTORING IN WOMEN'S CAREER ADVANCEMENT IN THE CHEMICAL INDUSTRY

Jill D. Paquin
University of Maryland
Ruth E. Fassinger
College of Professional Studies, John F. Kennedy University, Pleasant Hill, CA 94523

ABSTRACT

Barriers to the advancement of U.S. women in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics fields are well documented, particularly in industrial settings. Mentoring has been identified as one strategy for helping women to advance, but many women−those working in the chemical industry, for example−report difficulty in accessing mentors. This qualitative study of nine male managers in industrial chemistry explored their experiences of being mentored and mentoring, as well as their perceptions of women as mentees. Results indicate that (i) these male managers had experiences of being mentored that they believed were important to their careers; (ii) these male managers' own mentoring experiences informed how they mentored others; (iii) these managers accessed both mentors and men- tees informally based on similarity, and mentored more men than women; and (iv) this study's male managers' experiences and perceptions of mentoring women were linked to their companies' climates regarding diversity. Implications for research, practice, and advocacy in the workplace are discussed.


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