Promoting gender-informed mentorship in neuropsychology: Reflections and suggestions from early career women

J Clin Exp Neuropsychol. 2022 Jul-Aug;44(5-6):398-408. doi: 10.1080/13803395.2022.2107184. Epub 2022 Jul 29.


Introduction: While women now represent a majority of neuropsychology trainees, men remain prominent in senior positions. As such, female mentees are often paired with senior male mentors, a practice referred to as "cross-gender mentorship." Although cross-gender mentoring dynamics have inherent potential for missteps due to implicit power differentials, when approached through a gender-informed lens, they can be optimized and lead to personal and professional growth for women neuropsychologists. The present article provides a framework for promoting gender-informed mentorship by cataloging first-hand accounts of early career women and discussing resultant lessons and concrete suggestions for mentorship.

Method: The authors provide first-hand accounts of experiences related to cross-gender mentorship across a variety of settings and professional contexts. From these accounts, the following steps offer a framework to encourage effective mentorship: 1) Set appropriate expectations and boundaries, 2) Address challenging clinical interactions through a gender-informed lens, 3) Foster personal and professional development, 4) Understand the intersection between gender and multicultural traits, 5) Advocate for advancement of women in the field, and 6) Maintain knowledge of women's issues.

Conclusions: Providing effective mentorship for women in neuropsychology is crucial to promote ascension of women to leadership positions and close long-established disparities in the field. The authors hope that our shared experiences can serve as useful tools for both women trainees and their mentors as they embark on mentoring relationships. Practically, we envision that mentoring dyads may discuss this article at the outset of their relationship to understand potential challenges and collaboratively establish a groundwork for optimal mentoring.

Keywords: Women; leadership; mentors; neuropsychology; training.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Mentoring*
  • Mentors* / psychology
  • Neuropsychology