Sponsorship is active support by someone appropriately placed in the organisation who has significant influence on decision-making processes or structures. A sponsor is someone who can spot talent and is willing to advocate for, protect, and fight for the career advancement of an individual.
The WGHA December 2020 survey indicated 67% of females had considered leaving their current role for another industry with the highest ranking reason “lack of opportunities and or no pathways to leadership.” This is where sponsorship can help break this cycle in your organisation and reduce this barrier that females face in career progression. As an industry we need to address the challenge of female representation at senior levels by targeting the career advancement of women in general and advocating the progression of high performing women in particular.
- Senior member of any gender – sponsor a female
- Female employee – seek out a sponsor in your organisation
Sponsorship has the potential to breakdown some of the barriers women face in the workplace and when done effectively, it can:
- Create career acceleration
- Help individuals meet the unique challenges of new higher level roles and alleviate the perceived risks associated with moving into new areas with little experience
- Guide an individual towards opportunities that can maximise movement towards career goals
- Develop the leadership skills and reputation of senior leaders who act as sponsors as they learn more about the way the organisation operates at all levels
An aspect of sponsorship is giving credit to women. Become aware of your female colleagues projects or work tasks and give them credit for it, especially when they are not present. This form of informal sponsorship raises awareness of females contributions and can assist with future promotions. Research has indicated that women get promoted on past performance, with males getting promoted on potential. By crediting women, you are highlighting past performance and helping to overcome this unconscious bias barrier.*
Sponsorship can help us as an industry achieve 40:40:20 gender representation.
Women in Gaming & Hospitality believe that gender diversity targets should be set for all management levels of 40:40:20 gender representation (40% female, 40% male and 20% discretionary). We believe the board of the organisation should oversee the monitoring and progress of these targets.
*WGHA would also like to eliminate unconscious gender bias.