“When Female Networks Aren’t Enough”
In the May 12, 2010 issue of Harvard Business Review, Booz & Company Senior Partner DeAnne Aguirre and Booz & Company Alliance Partner Sylvia Ann Hewlett wrote that women aspiring to C-suite positions can benefit greatly from a having a sponsor. “More than a mentor, (a sponsor) is someone in a senior position who’s willing to advocate for and facilitate career moves, make introductions to the right people, translate and teach the secret language of success, and most important, ‘use up chips’ for their protégés,” they write. According to research by the Center for Work-Life Policy as part of its “On-Ramps and Off-Ramps Revisited” study, 89 percent of highly qualified women don’t have a sponsor and 68 percent lack mentors. “Forward-thinking companies recognize that these hidden inequities prevent them from identifying and developing potential talent,” Aguirre and Hewlett write. “Rather than leave these strategically significant relationships up to chance, smart employers are becoming matchmakers.”