Both mentorship and sponsorship are increasingly critical for success in a competitive IT talent market, especially for women and other underrepresented minorities in technology. But there are crucial differences between the two, the biggest of which lies in access to power and visibility within an organization: Almost anyone can be a mentor, but only those with access to positions of power and leadership, and the ability to improve the visibility of those they sponsor, can serve as sponsors.
“Mentorship is a relationship in which one person provides guidance to another, and then that person ‘pays it forward,’” said Pooja Jain-Link, executive vice president of the Center for Talent Innovation (CTI), speaking on a panel on Intersectional Sponsorship at the Grace Hopper Celebration of Women in Technology in October. “Sponsorship is a two-way relationship between a senior leader and a protégée that’s based on advocacy and performance; the sponsor is helping the protégée get noticed, while that person is doing the work and ‘repaying’ them by performance and their actions.”
Read More from This Article: Sponsorship vs. mentorship: Which is best for your career?