The Power of Informal Mentoring
Historically women in education are disproportionately represented at the highest positions of educational leadership, especially in comparison to the number who begin their careers as teachers. Feistritzer (2011) reported eighty-four percent of the teaching workforce were women, however, only twenty-four percent of superintendents were women (Kowalski, McCord, Petersen, Young, & Ellerson, 2010). One of the reasons for the lack of women in upper-level administration is the lack of mentoring formal or informal. Angel, Killacky, & Johnson (2013) found that there is a significant absence of professional network and support systems for women to receive assistance, guidance, mentoring, and direction to effectively navigate the educational systems. Consequently, mentoring becomes essential in providing direction and support for women who aspire to advanced leadership positions.
This paper examines informal mentoring relationships as it relates to the career success, professional and personal development of females in educational leadership. It includes a discussion of several informal relationships in particular peer mentoring, family members as mentors, and collaborative mentoring.
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