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Dissertation Abstract

The Impact of Mentoring Relationships on the Career Success of Women Scientists in Corporate America

Yolonda C. Sales
October 2011

This study utilized a predictive, multivariate research design to test the relationship between two independent variables—length of mentoring relationship and type of mentoring relationship—and the dependent variable—career success—as mediated by perception of mentoring relationship effectiveness. This study tested these relationships among women scientists working within Science, Technology, Engineering, or Mathematics (STEM) fields in corporate America—an important group of professionals responsible for delivering critical future innovations. A survey, constructed of previously validated scales, was used to collect data. The first study objective was to determine if women scientists' type of mentoring relationships and length of mentoring relationships impacted their career success. The second study objective was to determine whether the perception of mentoring relationship effectiveness mediated the relationship between type of mentoring relationship, length of mentoring relationship, and career success. The study results found that while controlling for the demographic and control variables of age, ethnicity, highest education level, company trainings, career tenure, and self-efficacy, type of mentoring relationship was found to significantly predict career success of women scientists. Additionally, while controlling for the demographic and control variables of age, ethnicity, highest education level, company trainings, career tenure, and self-efficacy, perception of mentoring relationship effectiveness was found to mediate the relationship between type of mentoring relationship, length of mentoring relationship, and career success. In this model, self-efficacy was also found to have a significant effect on career success. These study results were expected based upon information contained within the literature.