Educational Administration, Department of


Date of this Version


Document Type



Journal of Women in Educational Leadership, Vol. 4, No.3-July 2006 ISSN: 1541-6224


© 2003 Pro>Active Publications


Women often perceive a disadvantage over similarly qualified males in professional advancement because they are not part of the "old boys' network." Based upon the assumption that women and minorities struggle to gain access into educational administration positions due to lack of professional networks and mentors, this phenomenological qualitative study sought to understand, from the protege perspective, how women develop the capacity to enter into mentoring relationships. Subjects in the study were 14 women participants in a mentoring conference sponsored by a statewide women's administrative organization. Conclusions from the study address ambivalence experienced by proteges in seeking out a mentor as well as implications for women's professional organizations seeking to develop strong mentoring cultures.