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Supporting actively Sponsoring

In addition to classical mentoring, some companies have set up special sponsoring programs for women.

Advocates open up career options

A sponsor uses his or her leverage in the company to promote a potential’s career development. Such sponsors are usually members of the executive board who can position their protégée in strategically important functions, thus giving her access to relevant networks. In such a sponsorship scenario, the sponsor’s responsibility for the protégée’s development far exceeds that of any mentor.

What makes effective sponsoring work?

A sponsor will guide his or her protégée over the course of several career levels, regularly checking whether the requirements for the next level are fulfilled or whether learning gaps need to be closed. Companies should encourage their leaders to volunteer as sponsors and to actively search for female top talents. Successful sponsoring can also add to the sponsor’s leadership credentials.

What are key success factors?

  • Formalize the sponsoring process to increase its effectiveness.
  • Monitor both the qualification and career options of protégés.

Tips for smaller organizations

  • In smaller organizations it is especially important to keep the sponsoring relationship separate from a functional working relationship.