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Action Tip

6 key steps for finding a sponsor (and working on your presence)

A number of unconscious obstacles stand in the way of women forming alliances with male sponsors. Stereotypes about women and their exclusion from informal networks are a perfect example— and you need to be mindful of this if you want to reverse the trend.

Based on

Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor: The New Way to Fast-Track Your Career, by Sylvia Ann Hewlett (Harvard Business School Press, 2013)

Open your eyes

You need a sponsor to fast-track yourself. More than 75% of women believe that career advancement depends more on long hours of work and the skills one develop than on sponsors. This widespread belief is one of the main barriers to alliances between male sponsors and female protégés. Worse still, you may even unconsciously think that ambition is not a valued quality in women.

Recognizing the strategic importance of cultivating and leveraging alliances with influential leaders is the first step to winning their advocacy.

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Françoise Tollet
Published by Françoise Tollet
She spent 12 years in industry, working for Bolloré Technologies, among others. She co-founded Business Digest in 1992 and has been running the company since 1998. And she took the Internet plunge in 1996, even before coming on board as part of the BD team.