I am saddened at the number of organisations that are still obviously male dominated and operate with an underlying patriarchal undertone, even with the enormous effort that has been put into creating equality in the workplace and publicity around the very positive impacts of having gender balance in senior leadership.
Sponsorship for Women
Formal and informal mentoring relationships exist in many organisations. Within these mentoring relationships the mentor may take many roles: being a role model, a sounding board, helping build networks and career support, sometimes simply being there to listen and challenge. However, linked to mentoring, but with clear differences is the role of a sponsor. Is it actually more beneficial for a woman who is seeking to break through the ‘glass ceiling’ to have a sponsor rather than an organisational mentor? Or perhaps she should be greedy and have both!
Designing a successful mentoring programme that delivers the results you are looking to achieve can be a difficult process, particularly if the organisational culture is at odds with the philosophy of mentoring or the senior management are paying lip service to the programme’s introduction.