A Lack of Sponsorship Is Keeping Women from Advancing into Leadership

Too few women are reaching the top of their organizations, and a big reason is that they are not getting the high-stakes assignments that are prerequisite for a shot at the C-suite. Often, this is due to a lack of powerful sponsors demanding and ensuring that they get these stepping-stone jobs.

Ensuring that women get the sponsorship they need to move up has proved elusive for most organizations. Many companies have halted formal sponsorship programs, citing pushback from executives who feel they are being asked to advocate for people they don’t know well or don’t think are ready. This isn’t a reason to give up on sponsorship; it’s an opportunity to reinvent how we approach it. Sponsorship is rarely something you simply turn on and off.  Rather, it’s a relationship, one that has evolved from lesser to greater trust and public commitment.

Learn more at Harvard Business Review.

Kate McCartywomen, leadership