During the W4SG 2014 Summit, over 100 participants from both the Nordic and Gulf regions reflected and discussed mentorship and sponsorship. W4SG has collected the comments and discussions in this report.
A study conducted by Catalyst from 2009 on more than 4000 high potential women shows that, although women are mentored, they are not being promoted. According to the study, more women than men are mentored but they are less likely to advance in their careers because they are not actively sponsored the way men are.
A recent McKinsey survey concluded that cultural factors, including the lower level of engagement and support of men at work, contributes twice as much as individual factors do to the failure of women to reach top management. McKinsey suggests that including more men not only as mentors but also true sponsors could provide more support for women.
This suggests that women have mentors but lack career sponsors; they fail to establish strategic alliances with individuals capable of propelling them into leadership positions. So, what is the difference between a mentor and a sponsor?