Volumes of articles, and even books, have been written about sponsorship programs and how critical they are to the success of women and diverse lawyers in corporations and law firms. For the uninitiated, sponsorship programs are formal efforts by organizations to improve the retention and advancement of traditionally underrepresented groups within that organization. Promising, high-potential employees, or “protégés,” are matched with “sponsors”—leaders who have influence and reach within an organization. Sponsors play a critical role in the advancement of protégés and use their insights and connections to fill experiential gaps and open doors to opportunities. Sponsors are an organization’s respected masterminds who are capable of being queen- and king-makers. Research shows that in law firms, diverse lawyers (especially lawyers of color) are less likely to have a sponsor.
Reprinted with permission from The Practical Lawyer, January / 2020
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