In the workplace, sponsorships pair employees with executive and senior leaders, who champion them for high-visibility projects and opportunities. As sponsors, leaders are tasked with using their influence to speak to and advocate for their protégés’ capabilities and accomplishments — often in spaces where the employee is not present or has limited access, such as executive offices and boardrooms.
Sponsorship can play a critical role in organizational diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) initiatives by increasing visibility for employees from underrepresented groups when new positions and projects arise. Organizations can ensure opportunities for sponsorship are equitably distributed by making sure the focus is not just on already visible high performers in the organization and providing additional support and advocacy to employees who need more help being noticed in the organization. Also see: Mentoring.