Sponsorships level the playing field

March 29, 20172 minute read

An article in the Dallas Business Journal details how sponsorships can be valuable for both men and women, yet points out women traditionally receive far less of this level of support and development.

AT&T executive Jennifer Biry, who was interviewed for the story, credits sponsors for contributing to her success. She says at every pivotal moment in her career advancement, someone who believed in her opened a door. According to the article, written by Michelle Caffrey, a reporter for the Philadelphia Business Journal, not every woman is so fortunate, and many companies “have instituted formal programs that normalize mentor and sponsor relationships by providing transparency and schedules that bring sponsorship into the typical workday.”

They’re taking step because of a quantifiable advantage. The article cites a study from the Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY published in 2016 that examined the financials of almost 22,000 public companies in 91 countries. “Among the findings was that when at least one-third of a company’s C-suite positions were filled by women, it equated to a 6 percent increase in net profit margin.”

The responsibility for cultivating a sponsor also belongs to the individual and the article offers advice from Gretchen Stroud, vice president of global learning and talent at Hilton Worldwide: “The way you do that is sustained high performance. Deliver what you said you were going to and do it in a way that people value your contributions and ability to collaborate well with others. It is really building that professional brand, and until you have that brand, it is hard to get a sponsor.”