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In a pandemic, professors benefit from mentors and role models.

According to a study by Chantal van Esch (California State Polytechnic University Pomona), William Luse (University of La Verne) and Robert L. Bonner (San Francisco State University), mentors were an invaluable resource for professors as they transitioned to remote work in Spring 2020.

The researchers investigated three reasons people seek out mentors: for career support, for psychosocial support, and as role models. Among the 253 academics who participated in this study, the main reason for seeking out mentors was as role models.  Women and professors who were more concerned about the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic were more likely to ask mentors for help. Mentors helped professors feel more confident in their transition to remote work.

van Esch, C.Luse, W. and Bonner, R.L. (2022), “The impact of COVID-19 pandemic concerns and gender on mentor seeking behavior and self-efficacy”, Equality, Diversity and Inclusion, Vol. 41 No. 1, pp. 80-97.