One of my colleagues in TX, a math professor who just retired, Dr. Sue Geller, has published a lovely set of skits based on real micro-inequity experiences of women in mathematics. (I’m actually represented in a couple! Certainly experienced enough of this over the years.) A new set was performed each year for a while at the national math meetings, to try to raise the awareness of some of the perpetrators. Amusingly, one of the people portrayed as a particular culprit was overheard to dismiss such things as fiction, would never happen that way. You can find Sue’s set of scripts with introductions here: http://www.math.tamu.edu/~geller/skits.pdf
Mentoring in the legal profession is not new. For women lawyers, in particular, mentors can be invaluable sources of guidance on everything from the nuts and bolts of the practice to work/life balance strategies. Many firms have formal mentoring programs for associates, pairing them with a partner or senior associate who can help them develop their skills as lawyers. Every young lawyer should seek out and develop a positive relationship with a mentor (and pay it forward to the next generation by becoming a mentor in the years ahead).
Having the right sponsor can make a dramatic impact on your career advancement. It’s such a powerful relationship that I have included it in the political toolkit in my book, The Politics of Promotion: How High Achieving Women Get Ahead and Stay Ahead. In fact, I call it the “Get Out of Jail Free Card”. Because just as this card gets you out of tough situations and propels you forward in Monopoly, a sponsor protects you and promotes you to win in the workplace.
We all know how important mentoring is to career success. Yet having a sponsor is even more critical to advancement in the workplace. What exactly is a sponsor? And how do they differ from mentors?
According to Catalyst research, a mentor is usually someone outside your current organisation who provides career direction and advice, helps to identify opportunities, and offers feedback and support.
What do Elizabeth Taylor, Oprah Winfrey, Chita Rivera, Abigail Adams, and Susan B. Anthony have in common? They all received a crucial career boost from another woman.
Throughout history, it's always been true that connections count. Today, as women around the world increasingly move into positions of power in politics and in the workplace, they are learning that one connection in particular is the springboard to success: sponsorship.