Campus Location

Dallas Campus (Online)

Date of Award


Document Type



Organizational Leadership

Degree Name

Doctor of Education

Committee Chair or Primary Advisor

Brian Cole

Second Committee Member or Secondary Advisor

Linda Wilson-Jones

Third Committee Member or Committee Reader

Kamryn Downs


Literature has suggested that mentorship is one of the most crucial and influential components for career advancement. However, Black women leaders in higher education are faced with a difficult task of selecting a mentor based on similar characteristics, which leads Black women who are seeking mentoring opportunities to select a mentor of a different race or gender. This phenomenological qualitative study was conducted to understand and describe the lived experiences of cross-race and cross-gender mentorship for a select group of Black women leaders in higher education, using Black feminist thought and intersectionality as the theoretical framework. A purposive sample of eight Black women leaders in higher education participated in in-depth interviews that were video recorded through Zoom. The collected data were transcribed and used to construct four major themes and 11 subthemes through the processes of using initial coding, in vivo coding, and descriptive coding. The major themes included the mentor’s contributions, organic connections, relational experiences, and dual role. The findings from this study imply that for this select group of Black women, cross-race only, cross-gender only, or both types of mentoring were pivotal in their professional and leadership development but were not without challenges. The results of this study could encourage individuals faced with the difficulty of identifying and selecting a mentor based on the characteristics of same-race and same-gender to seek out mentors who possess other essential qualities to aid with their career and leadership development and advancement.

Creative Commons License

Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License
This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 4.0 License.



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