To learn: get a mentor, to get ahead: get a sponsor
Posted by Meg Bear on September 2, 2010
The topic today is the difference between a mentor and a sponsor
A mentor will help you become a better you, a sponsor will help you get ahead.
A sponsor is more than a mentor. Sponsors make introductions to the right people, facilitate career moves and guide you through the unwritten rules of organizational life.
All mentoring is not created equal, we discovered. There is a special kind of relationship—called sponsorship—in which the mentor goes beyond giving feedback and advice and uses his or her influence with senior executives to advocate for the mentee. Our interviews and surveys alike suggest that high-potential women are over-mentored and under-sponsored relative to their male peers—and that they are not advancing in their organizations. Furthermore, without sponsorship, women not only are less likely than men to be appointed to top roles but may also be more reluctant to go for them.
I don’t know about you, but I’m personally using this information to redefine what kind of help I’m getting for my own career goals.
The Cornell Bear is intended to make Amy laugh.