An Examination of the Benefits of Mentoring for African American Female Accountants


Franklin University Dissertation Excellence Award - Nominee (Summer 2023)

Date of Award

Summer 2023

Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education in Organizational Leadership (EdD)

Committee Chair

Valerie Storey

Committee Member

Shantelle Jenkins

Committee Member

Jennifer Harris


This explanatory sequential mixed methodology study examined the impact of mentorship on African American female accountants’ advancement to executive leadership positions. The target sample included mentored African American female accountants in the Accountants of Color (AOC) Facebook group, Alliance of Black Women Accountants (ABWA), Black Women in Accounting and Finance Network LinkedIn group, and the Accountancy Board of Ohio. The goal of the mixed methods study was to understand the mentoring relationships, perceived mentorship benefits, and social networks experienced by African American female accountants. Due to the small sample size for the quantitative portion of the explanatory sequential mixed methods approach, multiple regression analysis was not performed. Phenomenological interviews were conducted for the qualitative approach to gain insight into participants’ lived experiences regarding the benefits of connecting with a mentor, which contributed to the findings. Aside from the benefits of connecting with a mentor, the study’s findings identified obstacles experienced by African American female accountants as they climbed the career ladder. The study’s findings highlight a need to enhance the recruitment and retention of African American female accountants, diversity at the executive-level in leadership positions, and organizational strategies within accounting firms to help shatter glass and concrete ceilings in order for African American female accountants to obtain executive leadership positions. The study’s research contributions highlight the benefits of mentoring relationships, networking, and the promotion of diversity initiatives within the organizational culture of accounting firms. The study enriched existing research as it focused exclusively on the lived experiences of African American female accountants to examine if mentorship influenced career advancement.