Mentoring is an important mode of professional development of faculty in higher education. It involves an experienced faculty, a mentor, supporting a less experienced person referred to as a mentee. Understanding and identifying mentoring approaches and impediments of African mentors of female faculty in higher education may shed light on practices that can be implemented in higher education to help increase the number of underrepresented female faculty in leadership positions in higher education. This survey research identified the mentoring approaches that female mentors in Nigeria use in helping their faculty protégées get and succeed in leadership positions and the barriers to effective mentoring of the approaches and impediments. Survey data were collected from a purposively selected sample of 117 female Faculty from eight federal universities in Nigeria. Mentoring Approaches and Impediments Checklist (MAI_C) was utilized for collection of quantitative data; while qualitative data was collected using semi-structured interviews of 20 female mentors to corroborate the quantitative data. The quantitative data was analyzed using descriptive statistics; while the qualitative data was analyzed by thematically coding and analyzing the interview transcripts to produce emerging themes about mentoring approaches and the barriers to effectiveness of mentoring. Results reveal that informal, formal, and peer mentoring are identified approaches, while the impediments include lack of mentoring program in higher education institutions, male-oriented institutional structure, balancing family and work life, and pull her down syndrome among women. It was concluded that mentoring programs should institutionalized to help bridge the existing gender gap in top-level leadership positions. Mentoring awareness can also reduce barriers to female career advancement, tenure and financial position.
mentoring, female faculty, leadership, approaches, impediments, cross-cultural