career, New thinking

Career Sponsorship : so what’s the deal?

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.

career

You’ve come a long way baby but have you got the balance right? 5 tips for balancing your career and time

The slogan “you’ve come a long way baby” comes from a Virgina Slims cigarette commercial in 1968 and signifys the start of the womens movement in America. The advertisement showed an image of a confident, tall, slender, trouser suit-wearing woman, career getting female. Fast forward and women over fifty and their career pathway have come a long way from years ago. There are three times more women aged 50-64 working part-time than men (The State of Ageing in 2020) however despite a rapid increase, the employment rate for women aged 50-64 is still nine percentage points behind men (The State of Ageing in 2020). This is in part to pension age rise in 2011 and more recently the cost of living however it’s apparent that more and more women at fifty are still active within the workforce.

Many women in our network are also stepping into their best roles at board level or reinvigorating their careers and setting up their own businesses. Listening to you we know this extended career pathway is not without its challenges and comes with its own unique challenges. This is especially true for those of you in the sandwich generation, who need to juggle caring for children, or support university aged children, care for elderly family members, as well as their own professional ambitions, which can be daunting at times. In fact all a bit of a juggling act.

To help manage your busy lifestyle, here are five tips:

1) Prioritize your time wisely – When you’re trying to balance a career with other obligations such as parenting, older-age caretaking or any other responsibilities you may have outside of work, it’s essential to prioritize your time wisely. Set realistic goals each day and focus on what needs to get done first. Break large projects into smaller tasks that are easier to finish in shorter amounts of time.

2) Increase efficiency – One way to maximize your productivity is by becoming more efficient in how you use your time. For example, when possible try to consolidate errands or combine tasks that require similar steps; you’ll save yourself a lot of valuable time this way. Also look for ways to automate mundane tasks such as bill payments so that you can concentrate on the things that matter most.

3) Utilize technology – Technology can be invaluable when it comes to increasing productivity. Try using apps and automated software programs where applicable; this will help lighten your workload considerably and give you more free time during the day. Technology can also come in handy when setting up alerts or reminders so that important tasks don’t get overlooked or forgotten about altogether.

4) Ask for help – Don’t be afraid to ask for help if needed; friends, family members or even professionals can provide assistance with activities like childcare or elder care on an occasional basis if needed. Delegate to university aged children where possible and help them to be as independent as they can. Having reliable people available can make an enormous difference in terms of stress relief and peace of mind while allowing you to stay focused on your job performance without worrying too much about household tasks slipping through the cracks.

5) Stay organized – Staying organized is one of the most effective ways to manage a busy lifestyle since it allows all areas of life (job duties/responsibilities as well as personal obligations) to move along smoothly and efficiently without getting bogged down by chaos due to disorganization. Investing some time upfront into developing systems or processes (list-making/follow-up calls/filing systems etc.) will make life much easier in the long run so don’t overlook its importance!

Finally, don’t forget YOU, allow yourself time to eat well and exercise.Taking care of your body through exercise and diet is key for women. Staying physically active and eating well will not only improve and maintain your general health but increase concentration in the workplace thus allowing for a continuing successful career.

Author: Ciara Moore

Ciara is the founder of female leaders at 50. and an advocate for lifestyle medicine.

New thinking

Mentorship Programmes for Female Leaders over 50

Mentorship is an essential part of professional development. Whether you’re in the early stages of your career or an experienced leader, having someone to provide guidance and advice can be invaluable in helping you reach your goals. For women over 50, mentorship programmes can be especially beneficial, offering insight and experiences I from a more mature perspective.

Here are five tips on how to set up a successful mentoring programme for women over 50.

Photo by Tima Miroshnichenko on Pexels.com

Tips for setting up a programme

  1. Identify Your Resources
    The first step in setting up a mentoring programme is to identify the resources available to you. Look at who you know that could be potential mentors—people who have experience and expertise in the areas you’re interested in learning about or working in. This could include people within your organization, alumni of your university or college, or members of professional associations related to the industry you’re interested in joining or advancing in.
  2. Establish Your Goals
    Once you identify potential mentors, it’s important to establish your goals for the programme. What do you want to achieve through this relationship? Are there specific skills or knowledge that you want to gain? Is there something specific that you want to accomplish? Having a clear understanding of what your goals are will help ensure that both mentor and mentee get the most out of their time together.
  3. Develop an Agenda
    Once your goals are established, develop an agenda for each meeting with potential mentors. This should include topics that will be covered during each session as well as any materials that need to be shared ahead of time (such as articles or reports). It’s also important to include break times throughout the meeting so that everyone has a chance to take a breath and process what has been discussed before moving on to the next topic.
  4. Set Boundaries
    It’s also important to establish boundaries between yourself and your mentor before beginning the programme. This includes agreeing upon expectations around commitment levels, communication frequency, confidentiality, and other issues that may arise throughout the course of the relationship such as fees (if applicable). Setting these boundaries ahead of time helps ensure both parties are comfortable with the process and expectations are clearly outlined from day one.
    5. Create Time for Reflection Finally, make sure there is time built into each session for self-reflection so that both parties can take stock of what was discussed during their meetings and think about how it applies in their own lives going forward. Reflection helps ensure progress is being made towards achieving objectives set forth at the beginning of each session as well as providing an opportunity for feedback from both sides on how things can be improved going forward if necessary .

Conclusion: Setting up a successful mentoring programme is not easy but it can be incredibly rewarding if done correctly! By following these five steps—identifying resources available; establishing clear goals; developing agendas; setting boundaries; creating reflection time—you can create a safe space where both mentor and mentee feel comfortable sharing ideas, knowledge, and experiences with each other while making progress towards reaching common objectives together! With these tips in mind, why not start building your own mentoring network today?

In fact why not contact us as we start our mentoring programme this year.