Productive Tensions in a Cross-Cultural Peer Mentoring Women’s Network: A Social Capital Perspective

Talia Esnard, Deirdre Cobb-Roberts, Vonzell Agosto, Zorka Karanxha, Makini Beck, Ke Wu, Ann Unterreiner

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

11 Scopus citations


A growing body of researchers documents the unique barriers women face in their academic career progression and the significance of mentoring networks for advancement of their academic trajectories as faculty. However, few researchers explore the embedded tensions and conflicts in the social processes and relations of mentoring networks, and the implications this has for social capital. Using this as our starting point, our narrative reflections suggest that while productive orientations and shared experiences as women faculty of color promote supportive professional roles; the structural, relational, and cultural dynamics subtly frame the basis of our tensions. In moving beyond these, we advance the need for structured and constructive engagement of our differences in building the social capital of peer mentoring networks. While this is not an easy task, we hold that it requires fluid and ongoing negotiations of these relationships if collective goals are to be realized.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)19-36
Number of pages18
JournalMentoring and Tutoring: Partnership in Learning
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 1 2015


  • cross-cultural
  • peer mentoring
  • productive tensions
  • social capital


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