I wrote recently on the topic of mentors and how men and women use them differently, so it was interesting that another piece of research, mentioned in the article “What do Women on Wall Street Want? Men!” backed up my comments. It’s great having a mentor but that person needs to be more than someone you seek out when something goes wrong. “Mentors provide valuable advice and assessments, but they seldom actively advocate for workers at senior levels, as sponsors do” according to Karen Sumberg, a senior vice president at the Center for Work-Life Policy. This is where the real gains are. A sponsor will ‘go into bat for you’ when you aren’t in the room, suggesting you for advancement and pulling strings to get you more attractive projects. It is something we women need to work on as men are 46% more likely to have a sponsor than women. So make sure you get what you really need from your mentor. I talked about the value of sponsors and advocates in my recent webinar, and will be telling you how to access senior stakeholders and create advocates for your work both in and outside your organisation, in the next one on June 13th – you can find out more and book here.