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Exploring Women Engineering Faculty’s Mentoring Networks

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2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition


Atlanta, Georgia

Publication Date

June 23, 2013

Start Date

June 23, 2013

End Date

June 26, 2013



Conference Session

Retaining and Developing Women Faculty in STEM

Tagged Division

Women in Engineering

Page Count


Page Numbers

23.6.1 - 23.6.26



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Paper Authors


Ziyu Long Purdue University

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Ziyu Long is a doctoral student in organizational communication at Purdue University.

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Patrice Marie Buzzanell Purdue University, West Lafayette Orcid 16x16

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Klod Kokini Purdue University, West Lafayette

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Robyn F Wilson Purdue University

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Jennifer C Batra Purdue University

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Lindsey B. Anderson Purdue University

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Women Engineering Faculty: Mentoring Networks AbstractResearch on mentoring has expanded from examination of traditional mentor-protégé dyadsto developmental mentoring networks (Haggard, Dougherty, Turban, & Wilbanks, 2011;Ragins & Kram, 2007). In these network approaches, the emphasis is on a constellation ofcareer developmental and personally supportive relationships to design career experiences forfocal individuals and to respond to the issues that these focal individuals, or mentees, express(Buzzanell, in press; Dobrow, Chandler, Murphy, & Kram, 2012). To study participants’career experiences, we use a mixed methodological approach: quantitative network analysis,qualitative inductive-deductive analysis, and discourse tracing. First, we utilize structuralhole theory (Burt, 1978) to find out how women engineering faculty members reach out toand accept mentoring sources (e.g., proactive and reactive processes). We examine egocentricnetworks, that is, the individuals’ self-reported linkages between themselves (i.e., “ego” orhub of the network) and career developmental “nodes” (Contractor, Monge, & Leonardi,2011; Monge & Contractor, 2003). These nodes are people in particular roles connected withdepartments, associations, institutions, agencies, and other organizations. Our participantshave reported their nodal structural relationships plus the attributes of the nodes. Second, weutilize inductive-deductive analyses whereby we code our interview transcripts for mentoringrelationships, their feelings about such relationships, and their perceived outcomes (Charmaz,2000, 2006). In particular, our participants have reported indicators of their subjective andobjective career success, in addition to their faculty status. These women describe not onlytheir productive relationships but also needed additional resources. Third, we utilizediscourse tracing (LeGreco & Tracy, 2009) to uncover mentoring that we categorize asepisodic, spontaneous, and/or mentoring moments. In our closing we discuss participants’formal, informal, and episodic mentoring opportunities. We also map out complexconfigurations of network mentoring structures as well as emergent relationships. Werecommend theoretical implications and pragmatic applications of developmental mentoringnetworks in the context of engineering faculty development.

Long, Z., & Buzzanell, P. M., & Kokini, K., & Wilson, R. F., & Batra, J. C., & Anderson, L. B. (2013, June), Exploring Women Engineering Faculty’s Mentoring Networks Paper presented at 2013 ASEE Annual Conference & Exposition, Atlanta, Georgia. 10.18260/1-2--19015

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