By Laura Vanderkam
Why do women stall near the top of corporate America? Don't blame babies, says a new study from economist Sylvia Ann Hewlett, published recently in Harvard Business Review. And don't blame incompetence or inexperience either. The last glass ceiling exists because of a lack of what she calls "sponsorship."
A sponsor is not just a mentor. Rather, he or she - but let's not kid ourselves, usually he - is a powerful person who goes to bat for you. He facilitates stretch assignments and bangs on the table in a meeting to get you promoted. Think John McCain and Sarah Palin. Michael Bloomberg and Cathie Black. Hewlett and her research team found that men are more likely than women to have sponsors, which is a problem, since after studying thousands of people in big companies, they determined that having a sponsor boosts advancement prospects by 23 percent for men and 19 percent for women.
Of course, getting a sponsor is not as simple as calling up HR and askingRead More »from How to Break Through the Glass Ceiling