Mentors Are Good. Sponsors Are Better

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Photo courtesy of Cun Shi

As Sheryl Sandberg of Facebook tells it, what accounts for her spectacular leap to leadership is her unfettered embrace of career opportunity. By “leaning in,” she maintains in her new book, she has been able to join the male-dominated ranks of corporate executives.

But it’s simply not enough for a woman to put her self-doubt aside, grab hold of ambition and aim for the top, as Ms. Sandberg advises. A woman needs someone to lean in with her. That’s according to recent research by the Center for Talent Innovation, an organization I founded that focuses on advancing women and minorities.

To get ahead, women need to acquire a sponsor — a powerfully positioned champion — to help them escape the “marzipan layer,” that sticky middle slice of management where so many driven and talented women languish...

To read the full article by Sylvia Ann Hewlett, visit The New York Times.

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