Inclusive employability approaches: female students' perspectives on diversity mentoring in higher education

Mukhtar, Rahila (2020). Inclusive employability approaches: female students' perspectives on diversity mentoring in higher education. University of Birmingham. Ed.D.

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Women from diverse ethnic backgrounds are under-represented in professional and managerial positions and this requires a more inclusive workforce, challenging the presence of unconscious bias. Mentoring is often signposted as a strategy to tackle these inequalities and to facilitate learning and employability transformations. This thesis interrogates how mentoring develops professional social capital for Black and Minority Ethnic (BME) female students to participate with confidence in an evolving and competitive labour market.

The study critically engages with Pierre Bourdieu’s concepts for determining individual agency possibilities for employability against structural dynamics. Applying an interpretive approach, this small-scale study uses semi-structured interviews to explore the mentoring experiences of BME female students from different Higher Education Institutions (HEIs). These findings outline career planning strategies where participants gained detailed professional knowledge that developed confidence, resilience and self-efficacy. Collaborative mentoring dialogues integrated personal beliefs and enhanced self-awareness to enable alternative and creative employability practices. The students’ learning resulted from varied and engaging positions influencing agency, for example: actual experiences, observed behaviours, reviewed situations and intuitive perceptions. This study adds insights to mentoring perspectives on ethnic inclusive employability preparation by proposing guidance as a ‘culturally sensitive mentoring approach’, to foster ethical and successful student outcomes.

Type of Work: Thesis (Doctorates > Ed.D.)
Award Type: Doctorates > Ed.D.
Licence: All rights reserved
College/Faculty: Colleges (2008 onwards) > College of Social Sciences
School or Department: School of Education
Funders: None/not applicable
Subjects: H Social Sciences > H Social Sciences (General)
L Education > L Education (General)
L Education > LB Theory and practice of education


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