Sponsors can take concrete steps to help women advance into leadership
TORONTO, Nov. 28, 2011 /CNW/ - It's broadly acknowledged that
sponsorship is critically important in getting more women into senior
roles; but what makes a good sponsor and why should the corporate
sponsor be hailed a hero? Ernst & Young interviewed some of Canada's
most successful women to learn about the sponsors who made a difference
in their careers.
In The corporate sponsor as hero, Ernst & Young writes that sponsors need courage, tenacity,
self-confidence and an eagerness to learn what it takes to help advance
women leaders they believe in.
"It often takes heroic effort," says Fiona Macfarlane, Ernst & Young's
Chief Inclusiveness Officer and Western Canada Managing Partner.
"Heroic, simply because it requires a lot of courage to, in many cases,
do something to change the status quo."
Unlike mentors, who offer career coaching and advice, sponsors are
hands-on advocates, who fight for and create advancement opportunities
for high-potential individuals. "They put some skin in the game," says
In addition to having the requisite organizational clout and power,
sponsors need to have the following qualities to be able to make a
difference. Sponsors must:
Plan — change doesn't happen by accident
Demonstrate commitment — for the long haul
"Businesses need to ensure sponsors in their organizations demonstrate
these behaviours if they want to get results," says Macfarlane. "Once
we've defined sponsorship, we need to communicate it, and really build
it into the lifeblood of our organizations. Sponsorship is not
something we say, it's something we do — and actions speak louder than
The corporate sponsor as hero shares stories from women across North America who have benefited
personally from having sponsors advocate for them. They provide insight
and best practices for bringing the idea to life in any organization.
About Ernst & Young
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