Date of Award


Document Type


Degree Name

Doctor of Education (EdD)


Executive Leadership

First Supervisor

Dr. Stephen Draper

Second Supervisor

Dr. Janice Kelly


The number of women of color entrepreneurs in the construction industry lags significantly behind that of their White women and male counterparts. The construction industry is one of the most gender-segregated industries in the world. Women of color entrepreneurs have encountered barriers to forming mentoring relationships, impacting their success in entrepreneurial endeavors. This qualitative phenomenological study examines how women of color entrepreneurs perceive the professional mentoring experience. This study examines women of color entrepreneurs’ experience of professional mentoring and whether it contributed to their success. This study identified successful professional mentoring elements for women of color entrepreneurs and assessed professional mentoring’s contribution to entrepreneurial achievement. In-depth interviews were conducted with nine women of color business owners in construction. Six themes emerged from the findings: access to capital, intersectionality, imposter syndrome, mentoring model and approaches, mentoring and business growth, and mentoring and networking. Professional mentoring provides practical guidance, emotional support, and resources for women of color to succeed in male-dominated industries. The knowledge gained from this study will better prepare women of color business owners in construction and help them understand what to look for when establishing professional mentoring relationships.

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