Want to move up? Not only do you need mentors, but a sponsor

Scotty Reifsnyder illustration

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Much research has been done on the difference between men and women in the workplace. Men negotiate their salaries; women take what they’re offered. Men talk up their achievements; women downplay theirs. Men ask for what they want; women wait to be invited.

Add in the fact that most senior executives are men who tend to promote other men – a.k.a. “the old boy network”—and it’s no surprise that women make up 47 percent of the US labor force but only 4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs.

To help level the playing field, women are encouraged to find mentors, but what they really need to advance are sponsors: high-ranking executives who will actively work to get them to the next level.

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