Athenas Daughters: Womens Perceptions of Mentoring and the Workplace.Report as inadecuate

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The purpose of this study was to determine if Egan's theory of women's mentoring styles, and related attitudes toward mentoring and the workplace, generalize to women in higher education administration and to women of color. Egan's theory of women's mentoring, based upon the epistemologies conceptualized by Belenky, Clinchy, Goldberger, and Tarule, posit five epistemological levels. A survey instrument designed to assess epistemological level, workplace and mentoring attitudes, and to gather demographic data was mailed to 290 women Chief Executive Officers of community colleges in the United States. There was a 40% response rate. Factor analysis revealed two epistemological levels in this group of women; however, attitudes toward mentoring were not statistically different between the two levels. No statistically significant differences were observed between white women and women of color in epistemological level or in attitudes about mentoring and the workplace. The results of this investigation do not support Egan's mentoring theory and its potential to generalize to women in different professions and to women of color. It is recommended that this study be replicated with respondents from a variety of administrative levels in a variety of fields to assess the efficacy of Egan's theory for explaining differences in the mentoring experiences and workplace attitudes of working professional women. (Appendices include the survey instrument, various scaled items, and a comparison of cluster loadings. Contains 154 references and 19 tables.) (Author/EMH)

Descriptors: Administrator Attitudes, Community Colleges, Epistemology, Higher Education, Interpersonal Relationship, Mentors, Two Year Colleges, Women Administrators

Author: Lash, Christine F.


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