Women Becoming Mentors: Reflection and Mentor Identity Formation as a Process of Lifelong Learning
Mentoring is an effective management development strategy. As the relationship develops, strengthens and eventually concludes, mentor and protégé define their roles through adopting behaviors characteristic of a mentoring relationship. The development of mentoring relationships is a complex process of defining roles, values, behaviors, attitudes, and beliefs. Building identities for the performance of these new roles requires protégés and mentors to learn about expectations, purpose, and each other. Mentors create career, professional, and mentoring identities in the world of work and manage the integration of multiple identities in the construction of their life stories. This study examined the stories thirteen women mentors told about how their careers developed, how mentors and role models influenced the choices they made, and how later they came to establish relationships with their protégés. An emerging and evolving mentor identity was performed in the narratives of choices and control in the building of careers and relationships. The learning that has occurred for these women as they have come to know themselves in the many roles of their lives has been a process of striving to understand how change, challenge, support, and, most importantly, relationships have shaped not only their career paths, but their life paths.
Keywords: Role Identity, Mentor, Women
Dr. Noreen F. Mysyk
Assistant Professor, Speech Communication, North Central College