The impact of race, gender, proactivity, and relative deprivation on the willingness and involvement in informal mentorship initiations
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Review of the literature on mentoring relationships in the workplace reveals a paucity of studies investigating demographic backgrounds and other individual characteristics in response to informal mentorship initiation. This study examined the role of dissimilarity in gender, dissimilarity in race, level of proactivity, and feelings of fraternal relative deprivation on individuals’ willingness and involvement in initiating informal mentoring relationships. Results indicated that although individuals preferred to initiate mentoring relationships with high proactive individuals, the tendency was contingent on demographic dissimilarities of the (potential) mentor-protégé dyads and the individuals’ feelings of fraternal relative deprivation. Furthermore, the impact of fraternal relative deprivation on individuals’ willingness and involvement in initiating the mentoring relationships differed depending on individuals being mentors or being protégés. Results are discussed in terms of theoretical and practical limitations and implications.