When I raised my children, I had a parenting philosophy that you prepare the child for the path, not the path for the child. But in the business world, this philosophy has proven time and again to fall short for women. If we are ever going to change the paradigm of too few women in leadership roles, then we need to prepare more paths. Women need sponsors. Sponsors do more than mentors. Sponsors use their senior positions, experience, and connections to advocate on behalf of their sponsorees. They push women forward and pull them up.
What is the role of a Sponsor? To create the S.P.A.R.K. that ignites the career trajectory of another.
Shine a light on her and advocate on her behalf
Provide access to your network
Affirm her potential as a leader
Respect her authentic style of leadership
Know that you benefit – you get as much as you give
By creating a S.P.A.R.K., Sponsors will start a FIRE for their Sponsorees. Over the next 5 weeks, I will provide tips, ideas, and stories to illuminate each of these 5 critical areas for Sponsors, starting with “Shine a light on her and advocate on her behalf.”
Take a lesson from The Fortune Knowledge Group research initiative called “Transforming the C-suite: Developing and Advancing Women Leaders.” It says that one of the most impactful ways to change organization culture and increase the number of female leaders is to engage in “increased personal recognition of female leaders from the highest levels.”
That’s why the TWOthroughYOU initiative can be so powerful.
Every leader at every level can take actions to pave the path for those behind them. Will you?
Click here to join TWOthroughYOU.