Athena Rising by W. Brad Johnson and David Smith
Four decades of research reveals that the effects of mentorship can be profound and enduring; strong mentoring relationships have the capacity to transform individuals and entire organizations. Organizations that retain and promote top talent — both female and male — are more likely to thrive. But the mentoring landscape is unequal. Evidence consistently shows that women face more barriers in securing mentorships than men, and when they do find a mentor, they may reap a narrower range of both career and psychological benefits.
Co-authors W. Brad Johnson, PhD, and David Smith, PhD, draw from extensive research and years of experience as experts in mentoring relationships and gender workplace issues. When a man mentors a woman, they explain, the relationship is often complicated by conventional gender roles and at times hostile external perceptions. Men need to fully appreciate just how crucial their support of promising junior women can be in helping them to persist, promote, and thrive in their vocations and organizations. As women succeed, lean in, and assume leading roles in any organization or work context, that culture will become more egalitarian, effective, and prone to retaining top talent. Athena Rising is a book for men about how to mentor women deliberately and effectively. It is a straightforward, no-nonsense manual for helping men of all institutions, organizations, and businesses to become excellent mentors to women.
W. Brad Johnson, PhD is professor of psychology in the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at the United States Naval Academy, and a faculty associate in the Graduate School of Education at Johns Hopkins University. A clinical psychologist and former Lieutenant Commander in the Navy’s Medical Service Corps, Dr. Johnson served as a psychologist at Bethesda Naval Hospital and the Medical Clinic at Pearl Harbor where he was the division head for psychology. He is a fellow of the American Psychological Association and recipient of the Johns Hopkins University Teaching Excellence Award. He has served as chair of the American Psychological Association’s Ethics Committee and as president of the Society for Military Psychology. Dr. Johnson is the author of 12 books, in the areas of mentoring, professional ethics, and counseling. Books of related interest include: On Being a Mentor: A Guide for Higher Education Faculty (2nd Ed.) (2015), The Elements of Mentoring (Revised Ed.) (2008, with Charles Ridley), The Elements of Ethics for Professionals (2008, with Charles Ridley), and Becoming a Leader the Annapolis Way (2006, with Greg Harper).
David Smith, PhD is an active duty U.S. Navy Captain and permanent military professor in the Department of Leadership, Ethics, and Law at the United States Naval Academy having served four years as the chair. A former Navy Pilot, Dr. Smith led diverse organizations of women and men culminating in command of a squadron in combat and flew more than 3,000 hours over 19 years including combat missions in Iraq and Afghanistan. As a sociologist trained in military sociology and social psychology, he focuses his research in gender, work, and family issues including dual career families, military families, women in the military, and retention of women. Dr. Smith’s most recent publications include: “On the Fast Track: Dual Military Couples Navigating Institutional Structures” in Contemporary Perspectives in Family Research (2013), “Dual Military Families: Confronting a Stubborn Military Institution” in Military Families and War in the 21st Century, Comparative Perspectives (2015), “Leadership and Peer Behaviors: Women in Combat” in Military Medicine (2016) and “Gender and the Military Profession: Early Career Influences, Attitudes and Intentions.” in Armed Forces & Society. Follow David on Twitter @davidgsmithphd or join him at an event.
Praise for Athena Rising:
“Athena Rising reminds us that when men lean in for equality, we all benefit. Brad Johnson and David Smith have written a powerful and practical guide for men on the steps that will make a big difference for organizations and for women.” — Sheryl Sandberg, COO of Facebook and Founder of LeanIn.Org
“Brad Johnson and David Smith have served up an exceptional treatise and handbook for male executives to learn how to become mentors to rising women of promise in all our organizations. Athena Rising is written in a captivating style while providing a practical, step by step mentoring implementation plan to advance female stars in the workplace. It should be a must read for male executive training.” — Louis Freeh, Former Director, FBI
“A definitive, practical guide for every man who wants to work more effectively with women. This is a book guys didn’t know we were waiting for, and it’s finally here!” — Chuck Shelton, Chief Executive Officer, Greatheart Consulting
“Finally someone has tackled the central issue to women’s advancement at work: why don’t men champion female talent like they do for other men? Athena Rising answers that question and — through story-telling and research — inspires men to rethink reluctance and mentor for the good of their female colleagues, their companies, and, ultimately, themselves.” — Kat Gordon, Founder, The 3% Movement
“First-time authors Johnson and Smith, both professors at the U.S. Naval Academy, hit a home run with this no-nonsense, timely guide that will benefit any man who wants to more effectively mentor or manage women in the workforce.” — from Publishers Weekly