Following a conversation with a network female leader this week I was reminded of the importance of sponsorships I received through my career and continue to receive as well as the importance of being a sponsor myself. Having a sponsor in your career is an invaluable tool for female leaders. A sponsor will actively advocate for you, put your name forward for high-stakes assignments that win notice and promotion, and spend their own political capital at work in your name. These roles are hugely important and can build your career in different ways. Here, i discuss how to find a sponsor, how to become one yourself, and the benefits of having one.
As a female leader how can you be a sponsor for others?
If you’re already established in your career and would like to help others reach their goals, then being a sponsor is an excellent way of doing so. As a sponsor, it’s important that you take the time to get to know those who look up to you – learn about their goals, experiences and strengths so that when opportunities arise that may be beneficial for them you can speak up confidently on their behalf. Also ensure that any sponsorship is done without asking anything in return – this should be completely unconditional support!
How to Find a Sponsor
Finding a sponsor starts with being visible at work. This means participating in meetings, speaking up with ideas and solutions, attending events, and generally putting yourself out there. If you have an idea that you can pitch to management or a project that you can take on independently then do so; these are great ways to get noticed by people who could be potential sponsors. Additionally, networking as always is key! Is there anyone else in the work place who has achieved what you’d like to achieve or who holds the position that you’d like to have – they could be great mentors or sponsors for you. Offer to take them for a coffee, talk about the work that they’re doing and see if you can support or be a part their project.
Benefits of Having A Sponsor
Having a sponsor gives both parties many different advantages; as mentioned previously it provides those looking for support with more visibility within their workplace which often leads to experience in projects which can result in more recognition from colleagues and management. On top of this having someone advocating specifically on your behalf gives them more confidence when making decisions too as they know someone else has faith in them – this often results in better performance overall as they feel supported by their sponsor throughout the process too.
Finally having someone willing to spend their political capital at work in your name allows you access into higher levels of decision-making power which is especially beneficial if there are no other pathways available traditionally into these positions otherwise.
In conclusion, having a mentor or sponsor is incredibly important for any woman trying to advance her career; not only does it provide access into higher levels of decision-making but it also builds confidence as well as creating visibility within workplaces where women are often overlooked or undervalued due solely on gender alone. Finding one requires dedication and networking while being one requires selflessness – but both are worth it if done correctly! With all these things considered i hope this article has given insight into why sponsorship is such an important tool for women today! Good luck!
Author: Ciara Moore
Ciara is the founder of female leaders at fifty.