Date Capstone Completed


Document Type

Capstone Paper

Degree Name

Masters of Science in Leadership Education: Organizational Leadership


Barbara Holmes


Women graduate students continue to express interest in developing as leaders and are looking to the university to provide support for this endeavor. In classroom discussions about leadership development, women graduate students indicate strong desire for professional mentoring for leadership development. Yet, there are no uniform ideas about what mentors should do or how mentors should support women graduate students. The need for mentoring is supported in the research literature. Bowling (2018) asserts that sustainable female leadership is best supported through mentorship. Bowling (2018) further explains that mentorship is a critical component of preparing women for the workplace and continued professional development. Impactful mentorship is positive, mutual and reciprocal (Ragins, 2011). Ragins (2011) recognized that expertise fluidity among mentoring partners influences the quality of the mentoring relationship. Johnson and Smith (2018) contend that mentoring is not about rescuing women but is about building positive structures in which women can grow and thrive. The purpose of this study is to explore perspectives of women graduate students about what mentoring is needed to guide leadership development.



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