Date of Conferral







Stephanie Hoon


Homosexuality has become more accepted and recognized in the past 50 years by the public. Mentoring has been a key factor in employee engagement and job satisfaction of proteges. While past studies have investigated discrimination towards homosexual employees, there has been an absence of research about homosexual mentorship relationships between homosexual managers and employees in the workplace. The research question for this study inquired about the mentoring experiences of homosexual male managers in corporations. The purpose of this descriptive phenomenological investigation was to develop an understanding of the mentoring experiences of homosexual male mentors and proteges in corporate management. Leader-member exchange and queer theories formed the conceptual framework and were used to guide the research questions about the mentorship relationship in the work environment of homosexual management mentors and proteges. Data were gathered through convenience and snowball sampling from seven participants. Semistructured interviews queried three areas from the literature including mentoring and career paths, management skill development, and sexual identity management. Emergent themes included skill set, increased acceptance, professionalism, personal freedom, and work environment. A key result was that homosexual managers who were transparent about their sexual identity were more satisfied with their work environments and were freer to be themselves. The findings could positively impact social change by increasing an understanding of the experiences of homosexual manager mentorship relationships with their proteges and thereby increasing homosexual employees’ career engagement.