New Books on Gender Balance and Sponsorship

25th Mar 2014


In '7 Steps to Leading a Gender Balanced Business 'Avivah Wittenberg- Cox  Avivah advises that any gender initiative should be leader led and business driven.That the first task should be to ensure that the senior leadership team are convinced that gender is a strategic priority for the business.

She also gives a strong case for more understanding between the sexes -that women need to be managed differently to men. The premise for this is that managers must understand that women are 'other focused', serving team and customers, making them less likely to self promote.

Suggesting that what is needed is a review of talent identification systems, supports the view that just because someone is confident, they are not necessarily the best person for the job.

Avivah goes on to outline how to manage the process of moving towards gender balance, giving us many examples of where and why it has worked and indeed many examples of what doesn't work.

Her book is a must read for anyone embarking on a gender programme written from the perspective of a writer who is a leader in the field.

In 'Forget a Mentor -Find a Sponsor' Sylvia Ann Hewlett gives us a clear understanding about the differences between mentoring and sponsorship.

The book focuses on what sponsorship is and how it works, going on to consider how a sponsee can attract a sponsor and get the most out of the relationship.

For my liking there is a little too much emphasis on the sponsees role rather than the responsibility of and benefits to sponsors. What would also be a helpful addition is the business case for women being promoted and gender balanced teams.

However, the addition of case studies to Sylvia's existing explorations at 'The Centre Of Talent Innovation ' gives us a strong argument for sponsorship being the way forward for companies that want to get on with the job in hand.

Both these books are available on Amazon.

Joanna Barker


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New Books on Gender Balance and Sponsorship