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The development of female global managers: the role of mentoring

Scullion, H. and Linehan, M. (2007) The development of female global managers: the role of mentoring. Journal of Business Ethics, 83 (1). pp. 29-40. ISSN 0167-4544

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Abstract

This paper explores the role of mentoring and networking in the career development of global female managers. The paper is based on data collected from interviews with 50 senior female managers. The voices of the female managers illustrate some of the difficulties associated with informal organisational processes, in particular mentoring and networking, which hinder their career development. The findings confirm that female managers can miss out on global appointments because they lack mentors, role models, sponsorship, or access to appropriate networks - all of which are commonly available to their male counterparts. The interviewees suggest that men, as the dominant group, may want to maintain their dominance by excluding women from the informal interactions of mentoring and networking. The findings further suggest that if females had more access to networks and mentors they could be socialised in both the formal and informal norms of the organisation and gain career advantages from these. The managers reveal that they encounter additional barriers in ‹a man's world' and remind us that there is still much to be changed.