The SAM Advanced Management Journal is pleased to announce the publication of the article Mentoring: A Key Success Factor for African American Women in the U.S. Federal Senior Executive Service by Lynda C. Jackson and Marcia M. Bouchard in Volume 84 Edition 4.
Of more than 6,500 U.S. Federal Senior Executive Service (SES) members, less than four percent are African American Women (AAW) (Stalcup, 2008a). The literature suggests that the career success factors needed to achieve executive positions include mentors (i.e. Ragins, 1989; Ragins, 1996, Catalyst, 2004). The authors of this study identify how AAW, in General Schedule and SES position, perceived success factors and their importance to progressing to executive positions. This research involved a quantitative study of 188 participants actively serving in the Federal Government. Findings suggest that mentors were perceived as necessary factors for career advancement; however, participants also perceived that internal factors, such as education and hard work, were more important. Benefits of this study include increasing minority women’s awareness of the importance and positive influence of mentoring on career advancement. The study also provides tools for managers to enhance inclusive employee development policies and programs.