Female peer mentors early in college increase women’s positive academic experiences and retention in engineering

Female mentors promoted aspirations to pursue engineering careers by protecting women’s belonging and confidence. Greater belonging and confidence were also associated with more engineering retention. Notably, grades were not associated with year 1 retention. The benefits of mentoring endured beyond the intervention, for 2 y of college, the time of greatest attrition from science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) majors.

The impact of gender in mentor–mentee success: Results from the Women's Dermatologic Society Mentorship Survey

Mentorship can have a profound impact on the success and happiness of a mentee while also providing a sense of fulfillment and enrichment for the mentor.

A New Direction for Mentorship

Mentorship is a uniquely important human relationship spanning history and culture. Even a casual perusal of art, music, literature, and science shows how mentorship has nurtured creativity and inspiration. Although myriad people go through life without ever having been mentored or mentoring another, growing evidence points to significant psychological benefits in this relationship for both participants. Mentees gain greater self-esteem, career focus, well-being, and leadership capability (Daloz, 1999; Eby et al., 2008; Grocutt et al., 2020; Kass, 2017; Lee et al., 2020; Van Dam et al., 2018); they may also find their sense of calling validated and strengthened (Ehardt & Ensher, 2021). Mentors experi- ence gains related to generativity in a variety of capacities (Bengtsson & Flisback, 2021; Lodi-Smith et al., 2021; Mendez et al., 2019; Seeman et al., 2020; Villar & Serrat, 2014) and professional development (Hudson, 2013). Evidence exists too concerning economic and career benefits for recipients of mentoring in diverse fields (Allen et al., 2004; Timpe & Lunkenheimer, 2015).

The Benefits of a Near-Peer Mentoring Experience

The necessity of undergraduate research experiences (UREs) for students in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM), and science education, is well-estab - lished in the literature (Dolan and Johnson, 2009; Hayward et al., 2017; Hamos et al., 2009; National Academies of Sci- ences, Engineering, and Medicine, 2017). Although there are variations on traditional dyadic mentoring, in the typical STEM-URE, the student is considered an apprentice with few opportunities to share knowledge.

The power of relationships in leadership

’The meeting of two people is like the contact of two chemical substances: if there is any reaction, both are transformed.’ Carl Jung