Sponsorship: Creating Career Opportunities for Women in Higher Education

Sponsorship involves active engagementto create career-enhancing opportunities while mentoring is a more passive talkingwith, or advisingof colleagues with no active intervention on the part of the mentor. Sponsorship involves leaders drawing on their power, networks, resources, social capital and influence on behalf of a more junior colleague.

This publication is an educational and strategic tool to guide universities, and individuals working within universities, to address gender diversity and equality issues that may arise through currently informal sponsorship practices. We position sponsorship not as a formal ‘program’ to be implemented, as you may do with mentoring, but part of effective leadership development and practice.