What exactly is sponsorship?
Sponsorship involves a more senior employee taking an active interest in the career development of a less senior colleague. Unlike mentoring, which focuses on providing advice and guidance, sponsorship involves actively advocating for and promoting the sponsee, opening up opportunities for them, and offering support and feedback as they progress.
How effective is sponsorship?
Research has shown that sponsorship can be particularly effective in supporting individuals from underrepresented groups who may otherwise face barriers to advancement. For example, a Harvard Business Review article found that while women are often well-represented at entry-level positions, they are significantly less likely to advance to higher levels of leadership than their male counterparts. However, when women were sponsored by senior leaders, they were more likely to receive promotions, better opportunities, and increased visibility within the organization. And another HBR article highlighted that 65% of black employees are more likely to climb the career ladder successfully when winning a sponsor. However, only 5% of black employees succeed in winning career sponsorship. This figure pales in comparison to the 20% of white employees that do.
Our panel of executive coaches, who are all included in the diverse executive coach directory, share their expertise on how you can initiate discussions with managers, leaders and directors to make them more aware of cultural and gender differences, and allowing you to get the help that you need to thrive and succeed in your workplace.
Watch a recording of the webinar above and read the responses we had below, along with further resources on the subject.
Comments from the attendees:
Many thanks to all the panel – really useful. Jennifer O
Thank you, excellent session! Philomena P
Thank you for this session. It’s a timely one with great and practical tips. Aanu
Article: Sponsorship: A Key to Success for Underrepresented Groups
Tips : How to Get a Sponsor or a Mentor
Article: Broken Ladders: The myth of meritocracy for women of colour in the workplace
Research: 20% of White Employees Have Sponsors. Only 5% of Black Employees Do.
Book: Equality vs Equity by Jenny Garrett OBE
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