[Women of Power] Sponsors vs. Mentors -Who's Got Your Back?

Women of Power: Sponsors vs. Mentors: Who’s Got Your Back?

(Image: File)
(Image: Thinkstock)

As we near the end of 2015, it is the perfect time to assess and plan how we will execute in the new year to reap optimal professional and personal results.

In assessing and planning, it is imperative to progress to align ourselves with those that may be able to guide us and advocate for us as we continue to embark on the journey to success. Our professional alliances can make all the difference in career climbing, thus the need for impactful mentors and sponsors.

[Related: Women of Power, Register Today! Carnival Corp. CEO Arnold Donald to Keynote Summit]

Many may be boggled with the idea of mentorship and sponsorship necessity—some may not know the difference and others may rally behind one while seeing little need for the other. BlackEnterprise.com presents a case for the essentiality of both.

According to President & CEO of the Center for Talent Innovation, Sylvia Ann Hewlett, “Mentors act as a sounding board or a shoulder to cry on, offering advice as needed and support and guidance as requested; they expect very little in return. Sponsors, in contrast, are much more vested in their protégés, offering guidance and critical feedback because they believe in them.”

Though there are many people who may tip the necessity scale toward one over the other, the need for both a sounding board and a vested guide may create a balance of influence that can be leveraged into excelling in your career.

When up and coming, and even prior to jumpstarting a career, seeking a mentor is heavily advocated for as a means of creating a support system of inspirers, listeners, and counselors. Once in your career, getting to the next level often takes having an advocate you’ve proven your worth to that could essentially be the gatekeeper for your promotion–—in comes the sponsor.

The 2016 Women of Power Summit will host the Who’s Got Your Back: Addressing the All-important Sponsorship Gap executive leadership session, detailing how to leverage your network and your own skills as you look to enter the C-Suite. You don’t want to miss this. Register now to secure your spot at the 2016 Women of Power Summit, March 9-12, Hilton Diplomat Resort & Spa, Hollywood, Florida. For a limited time only, use code Holiday16 when registering for a special discounted holiday registration rate.

Be sure to follow Black Enterprise on social media @BlackEnterprise, for Women of Power news, highlights, and updates. Use hashtag #BEWPS to stay in the loop. Please be on the lookout at BlackEnterprise.com as speakers, activities, and sessions are announced.