You finally have a sponsor…

You finally have a sponsor…

A big named one at that—but somehow it seems that you’re still in the same place you were when you began the relationship.

It’s been quite a ride though!

The visibility.

The social clout at work.

The invites to creamy-center socials.

But still…nothing to show for it.

Has this happened to you?

This is tough for any leader, but especially women and women of color because the stats show, it’s hard enough to secure a sponsor in the first place, let alone one who will ultimately deliver. And more often than not, leaders tend to look for a sponsor who looks like them. You admire them. They are rockstars.

You can be “it” if you see “it”, right?

Or perhaps you’ve witnessed it happen to someone else: that one leader who seems to be making all the senior executive connections consistently. They seem to be miracle workers in their roles and on extra projects, their names on the tongues of C-Suite leaders—but they are still in the lower ranks with no real upward movement.

What’s really going on here?

I explore it in my latest book Yes Please! 7 Ways to Say I’m Entitled to the C-Suite, and the answer isn’t as cut an dry as you might think. I’ll give you one hint though:

This corporate game of inequitable numbers of women and other people of color is at the core of it. If you are Black, the stick you drew can be even shorter. So, relying solely on sponsors who look like you may not make complete sense—if sheerly from a mathematical perspective. At any given Fortune 500, women leaders and those of color thin out the higher you go. The reverse is true the lower you go into the ranks.

The reality is, we really don’t see “it” that often.

So should the many managers and senior managers be vying for the same few sponsors simply because they can relate to them? Are they all able to bang their fists on the table for a never-ending list of sponsored leaders?


Can they actually write these checks AND cash them?

That actually happening is even rarer than securing a sponsor in the first place.

Still, the topic is even more nuanced than simply that. I have more answers. You’ll need to pick up the book, but until then…

Think about it.

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