Leaders-are you a Mentor or Sponsor?

Even though this NY Times piece by Sylvia Ann Hewlett was done based on research on women breaking “glass ceilings” in corporations, it is instructive for those who serve as leaders and mentors in education. Link is:

Leaders-are you a Mentor or a Sponsor?

One Comment on “Leaders-are you a Mentor or Sponsor?

  1. There is definitely a need for leaders to be sponsors while maintaining their mentoring status. In Jacksonville, Florida, Linda and David Stein under the auspices of United Way of Northeast Florida graciously donates annually to fund the Stein Fellowship. Through this fellowship, everyday people like me, a middle grades math teacher, can become a leader in their community. Fellows are committed to mentoring a student in middle school for at least one year while being mentored by remarkable community leaders. Although I have had the pleasure of being mentored, I have had the greatest opportunities as an American of African descent to be sponsored by a Jewish community leader. This opportunity provided avenues to meet people whom paths I would never cross because of my race, socioeconomic status, and demographics.

    Initiatives such as the Stein Fellowship should be placed in the education industry. As an ambitious woman I am hungry for progress, but at times fail to see the clear path. Most recently, I read Mrs. Moneypenny’s Career Advice for Ambitious Women. She creates a clear path through various applications, but only suggests for one accountability partner – YOU. Mrs. Moneypenny clearly defines goals to reach in order to overcome the “Marzipan layer” although a personable touch from a sponsor would give way for greater success.

    Interestingly enough, on my last flight, a female, Caucasian passenger sat adjacent to me. She was reading Lean In as I was reading Career Advice for Ambitious Women. She is a Baby Boomer and I am Generation X-Y. The engaging conversation we shared made for a seamless progression to my continued ambitions. Now, after reading Mentors Are Good – Sponsors Are Better, I’m curious. Where are the sponsors?

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