Instead of adding a mentor or more Twitter followers this fall, women need someone far more powerful for their career if they want to succeed: a sponsor.
As a ticket to the top, a sponsor will work equally well whether you’re climbing the corporate ladder or a working as an entrepreneur, a writer or activist, said Sylvia Ann Hewlett, an economist and author of the new book Forget a Mentor, Find a Sponsor. A sponsor—basically a power broker who will endorse you in closed door meetings and support you in stormy moments—could also be valuable for executives established in their careers.
Women are too passive about finding a sponsor. ”Women have twice as many mentors as men, but half as many sponsors,” said Hewlett.