Leadership Mentoring: A Study of the Mentoring Experiences of Female Federal Civil Service Employees
Coble, Christopher M.
This dissertation in practice used the phenomenological qualitative method to explore the perceptions of the mentoring experiences of female federal civil service employees at a major Marine Corps installation in eastern North Carolina. The sample consisted of 15 female civil servants in senior leadership positions in the grades GS-12 to GS-14. Data was collected through the interview method using open-ended questions that discovered the types of mentoring the participants experienced throughout their careers and how mentoring, if at all, contributed to their professional career development in the federal service. The findings showed most interviewees experienced informal mentoring during their careers, and the partnership with the mentor positively influenced their personal and professional development. However, in the federal service, most sample members were unaware of or did not participate in the Marine Corps’ formal mentoring program, an extensive, service-sponsored effort to purposely pair protégés with mentors as part of a broader leadership development program for federal civil servants. Analysis of the data suggested that creating a dedicated Mentor Program Coordinator, whose only duties are administering the formal mentoring program, is the most efficient solution to furthering mentoring partnerships, and thus leadership development, at the installation. Finally, proof of the efficacy of having a sole Mentor Program Coordinator may demonstrate the need for similar billets at other Marine Corps bases, providing enhanced mentoring services to all federal employees employed by the Marine Corps.|Keywords: mentoring, Mentor Program Coordinator, Marine Corps, leadership development, Civilian Mentor Program
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