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Why Having A Sponsor Is Important For Women And How To Get One

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. It’s the fast track; the fastest, most powerful way to get ahead.

According to Sylvia Ann Hewlett, sponsorship provides a statistical benefit of up to 30 percent for high profile assignments, promotions, and pay raises, yet very few women have sponsors. In fact, men are 46 percent more likely than women to have a sponsor. Women tend to be over mentored and under sponsored and as a result, they miss out on the positive impact of having a sponsor. The report states that there is a direct relationship between a lack of sponsorship opportunities and the absence of women in leadership positions.

I interviewed many women for my book and what is very clear from these interviews as well as from the work I do with my clients that those women who have sponsors reach leadership positions much faster than those who don’t. It does, however, take focus, intention, and political savvy to get the right sponsor. In my coaching work, I help women identify and secure sponsors to help them get the promotions they deserve...

To read the full article by Bonnie Marcus, visit Forbes.

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