Ch 1: Refractive Mentoring Strategies for Rising Beyond Biases and Barriers to Leadership Promotions
From the Book: The Refractive Thinker® Vol XI: Women in Leadership


The purpose of this qualitative exploratory research is to continue a discussion on the needs of systemic mentoring programs using refractive thinking practices to address barriers to promotion and gender biases. What is not known is whether persistent underrepresentation links to the lack of women motivation and experience, generational differences, ethnicity, same gender partiality, or current leader self-preservation. The appearance of gender bias or barriers for women is not fully known because research data appear to focus on male to female biases (a singular focus) rather than the multiplicity of gender and generational factors present in the workforce. Traditional approaches to mentoring appears to be a cookie cutter approach for a male leadership workplace rather than an innovative model that provide women the flexibility to become administrators while balancing the needs of family and other social activities. Findings in this research show a monotonous or stagnated approach of mentoring females for leadership positions. Barriers appear to focus on gender discriminatory biases creating a guilty complex for women who desire to balance an innate need to have a family while seeking an administrative position. Recommendations for further research include an exploration for specific data collection regarding the perceptions and lived experiences of women who experienced bias and barriers. An additional recommendation is to explore whether innovative mentoring practices using principles of refractive thinking increased the percentage of women securing leadership positions.
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