Successful Sponsorship Relationships

6th Feb 2013

Successful Sponsorship Relationships


There has been much written on the retention of women, more recently the focus has been on a few initiatives that really work. One of those is sponsorship, an influential senior person helping someone
below them up the corporate ladder.

There is a marked difference between mentoring and sponsorship, mentoring prepares people for the next step in their careers and sponsorship makes it happen.

A recent Catalyst study suggests that "High-potential women are over mentored and under sponsored, relative to their male peers .Without sponsorship, women not only are less likely than men
to be appointed to top roles, but may also be more reluctant to go for them”

Ideally sponsorship would happen organically and informally where there is an existing rapport and this is certainly the case within existing `boy`s networks`.

However it is well documented that women in organisations need to `network `more. The real truth is that many of the women that companies want to retain, are too busy picking up the kids from childcare
to get down the pub and informally put themselves forward for the next promotion.

So, there is a need for formal structures to be put in place.

The most successful sponsorship relationships are well organised with much attention given to the management of the relationship. At Beacon Women we train sponsors and sponsees in how to make the relationship work for both parties. This includes making a good match at the outset, training the sponsor in the skills of courageous conversation, and agreeing objectives upfront. The expectation is on the sponsor to get the best possible outcomes for the sponsee, with the sponsor often getting the most satisfaction from the interaction as they fulfill a basic human need to help others.

Beacon Women - Feb 2013

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Successful Sponsorship Relationships