Sponsorship, not mentorship, key to advancing women of color in the workplace

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Women of color face unique challenges in the workplace, with their careers often hinging on those who are lacking in diversity training. In Inclusive Sponsorship: A Bold Vision To Advance Women Of Color In The Workplace, I explore the challenges encountered by women of color who are met with indifference when their work is being evaluated, leaving them to feel unsupported and untrusting.

The feedback often doesn’t feel genuine or actionable because it is not accompanied by advice, resources, or training to close performance gaps. Instead, it is used as a stall tactic or a deflection, usually enveloped by institutionalized racism or unconscious bias. The one element that’s missing to amplify the careers of women of color is true advocacy—sponsors who are willing to promote them, based on their potential and not simply their performances.

Sponsorship is an important mechanism to promote women of color, as it allows leaders to use their political and social capital for the good of the individual being sponsored as well as the organization. In my book, I address important questions surrounding issues of sponsorship, such as:

  • What happens when political power and its use are shrouded in fear?


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