Women Need Sponsors at Work

Women need sponsors at work. Image: Social Science InsightsWomen “mentor” and look after their colleagues at work, while men have “sponsors” who help their careers. A 2010 survey by New York think tank the Centre for Talent Innovation found that men are 46% more likely to have sponsors than women.

The Centre’s CEO, economist Dr Sylvia Ann Hewlett, says “You don’t land a sponsor if you are totally squeezed by mentees. Being chosen as a protégé has to be earned.” She argues senior women should aim to work with junior colleagues who have a clear career plan. The relationship should also match and benefit both women’s skills and future goals.

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