The Importance of Mentorships for Career Advancement - Essay Example

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In the paper “The Importance of Mentorships for Career Advancement” the author discusses gender biases against female managers. These biases may be negative or positively framed. A negatively-framed stereotype is that women cannot become effective managers…
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The Importance of Mentorships for Career Advancement
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The Importance of Mentorships for Career Advancement
Many male executives do not choose to mentor young women because of their gender biases against female managers. These biases may be negative or positively framed. A negatively- framed stereotype is that women cannot become effective managers because they are too emotional and consider too many factors and people, so they cannot make brisk and logical management decisions. A positively-framed gender bias is that women cannot be managers because they are also homemakers, which means that they cannot provide the needed time and dedication to demanding management work (Foster). These biases are serious issues because they can become sources of gender/sex discrimination that will impede women’s potential for promotion and professional development.
Two problems with lack of mentoring are non-promotion and poor social networks, both of which can be important in promotion decisions and individual professional development. Many executives are still men, so they have accumulated crucial knowledge and skills in doing their jobs. They are essential mentors to women who aspire to reach their positions someday. If these male executives do not want to mentor young women, they are denying the latter the chance to be groomed for executive positions, thereby contributing to gender discrimination and gender wage gap. In addition, male executives already have professional and non-professional social networks that may directly or indirectly contribute to the professional development and promotion of subordinates. Women who do not have access to male mentorship may lose access to these networks too, which can be essential in the politics of promotion and processes of individual professional development. Hence, male executives should not have biases against mentoring young women, in order to prevent gender discrimination and to increase women’s number in their ranks.
Learning Activity #2
"Despite the increasing participation of women in advanced education and managerial and professional ranks, they are still under-represented at the top levels of management and in expatriate assignments".  Why do you believe this is the case?  Please explain.
I believe that women are still under-represented at the top levels of management and in expatriate assignments because of social and personal reasons. Some of the strong social reasons are gender biases and companies that have gendered policies and practices. First, gender biases may exist for those who mentor or promote employees to management or expatriated position. These decision-makers believe that women, because of their gender, have limitations that render them inappropriate for top management or expatriated positions. Yochanan Altman and Susan Shortland show in their study that, during the 1990s, many companies saw women as “unsuitable” for expatriation because of their dual responsibilities or because of age or civil status (206). Sometimes, the host countries may be the ones biased against women too, such as when they do not think that women should be managers and work far away from home (Altman and Shortland 204). Apart from gender discrimination, some companies also include gender in selecting candidates for expatriation. Doing so can risk gender discrimination lawsuits, although some companies still conduct the practices because of various conditions (i.e. host country prefers male over female managers) (Lansing and Boonman).
Some women sometimes also do not want to be expatriated or to be promoted to top management positions because of the demands of top management levels. They do not want to leave their families, especially their children, for expatriation assignments, for instance. Altman and Shortland showed in their study that many men do not move or relocate for their expatriated wives. In addition, some women do not want to sacrifice their family life for top management positions that tend to disrupt work-life balance. When companies have policies and practices that assert that top management must focus on workplace needs alone, these demands are not attractive to women who value family roles and responsibilities. Thus, these personal and social reasons are detriments to women from reaching management positions and gaining expatriation assignments.
Works Cited
Altman, Yochanan, and Susan Shortland. “Women And International Assignments: Taking Stock- A 25-Year Review.” Human Resource Management 47.2 (200): 199–216. Print.
Foster, Dean. “Gender Issues in the Global Workplace.”
Lansing, Paul, and Paulina Boonman. “Selecting Candidates for Expatriation: Is It Unethical for Companies to Use Gender as a Factor?” Employee Relations Law Journal 37.2 (2011): 2-15. Print. Read More
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