Mentor or Sponsor?

Tuesday 12th September 2017


Here is an interesting question? You can choose to have a mentor or a sponsor, not both, just one. Which would you choose?

Well, your answer should take into consideration what level you are in your organization. At the lower levels as you climb your career level having a mentor is extremely useful. At the middle-senior levels in your organization, it is more important that you have a sponsor! Research shows that women tend to be over mentored and under sponsored.

We know that networks and sponsorship are key to career advancement. Many organizations track and measure mentoring programs but how many organizations monitor and measure sponsorship?

Another key question is how do we get more men in leadership to sponsor aspiring women into leadership?

Aaron Dhir, a law professor in Toronto, interviewed women and men in Norway who have now lived for ten years under the 40% board quota strategy. He found that the quota rule forced the interruption of in group favoritism and closed social networks that in the past prevented diversity. Quota induced gender diversity positively affected boardroom work and governance processes. Women could now easily access opportunities.

So, my question to all women in leadership, who are you mentoring and who are you sponsoring?

My second question is for men in leadership positions, who are you mentoring and who are you sponsoring?

And finally to Chief Executives in organizations that are serious about diversity, are you tracking this data?

Share This