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New Research to be conducted into Mentoring Relationships

Clare Laurent is beginning to gather research data for a study on mentoring processes, which will form the basis of her PhD thesis under the supervision of Birkbeck, University of London. She will be conducting interviews over the coming year with a small group (approximately four pairs) of Mentors and Mentees in ongoing mentoring relationships to examine in depth their experience of women’s obstacles to success and how mentoring might help overcome them, with a particular focus on both parties’ perspectives on the processes occurring in the relationship that can lead to progression or change.

There is little qualitative (in other words interview-based) research looking at formal mentoring programmes and even less that examines the perspectives of both Mentors and Mentees. As a result, Clare believes her study can make a material contribution to the academic body of literature. Confidentiality will be rigorously maintained and data will be anonymised. Clare and Peninah will also examine some of the anonymised data as part of our ongoing evaluation process of the FTSE Programmes, and participation by Mentors and Mentees will therefore also contribute to the continued enhancement of the Foundation’s work. At no stage however, will the confidentiality of participants be compromised and strict rules on ethics, governing how data are gathered and used will be adhered to by Clare and overseen by the University of London.

Clare’s PhD research builds on her earlier work as part of her University of London Masters in Career Management and Coaching, looking into mentoring relationships and how they might help women overcome obstacles to achieving career success at the highest level. Several of our Mentees participated in that study, for which Clare was awarded a Distinction.