Mentoring has been recognized as critically important to the success of young professionals in accounting. Because members of senior management in the accounting profession are most often male (AICPA 2019b), improving opportunities for junior female professionals is especially worthwhile. In the current #MeToo environment, there is a potential concern that male superiors may be reluctant to mentor females. Using an experimental study, we do not find a greater reluctance to mentor when the gender of the participant and the gender of the prospective mentee are mismatched, as compared to when the genders match, even when the mentor/mentee dyad is male/female. However, we do find a greater reluctance to meet at potentially risky times and locations when the genders are mismatched; the lowest willingness was associated with the male/female dyad. Our findings have implications for practice, as firms consider formal mentoring assignments and structured mentoring times and locations.
Data Availability: From the authors, upon request.
JEL Classifications: M12; M40; M53.