Academic Leadership: The Online Journal


John Ekukndayo


In leadership studies, mentoring has been in practice for a long time be it in local and national governance, organizational development (especially as part of a systematic leadership succession plan) or even for personal/professional development of individuals or groups. It seems that in organizations today many desire to be mentored but unfortunately not all are finding appropriate mentors that will cater for their personal and professional needs especially in meeting with their psychosocial needs (Kram, 1983). This is the case with many women in many male-dominated workplaces known for the preserving of “male prejudices, male values and creations” (Woodd, 1997), which though appear innocuous on the surface, invariably play vital roles in choosing leaders for top leadership positions. This phenomenon that hinders women who cluster middle management levels in organizations but ended “sieved out” as unwanted for the top is known as the “glass ceiling”. This phenomenon has been on since 1986 when some writers of the popular Wall Street Journal stumbled on the cliché to describe this barrier that appears so strong, yet transparent, hindering women from climbing to the top in organizations (Weyer, 2007). It is worthwhile to point out that mentoring is essential for career advancement especially for women in management but many women as a result of their gender disposition, in most cases, find it difficult to have access to mentors (Kram, 1983).