In her timely Forbes article “Career Growth Through Connectivity: Utilizing Mentorship And Sponsorship In 2021,” author Andréa Carter explores the impact the 2020 pandemic had on mentorship and sponsorship.
Under lockdown and confined to virtual workspaces, employees experienced a profound loss of organic connections. Quick office pop-ins and casual lunches were replaced with the formality of emails and brief Slack messages. Without casual communication, many struggled with seeking and building relationships with potential mentors and sponsors through digital platforms.
How do we reconcile this year of lost connectivity? As companies look toward the future, whether their teams are remote, in-person, or a hybrid of the two, it is crucial for leaders to prioritize providing mentorship and sponsorship opportunities. For many employees, 2020 was marked by traumatic job insecurity, making support for their career growth more important than ever.
Not only are these support systems important for the individual employee, but they are essential for building strong, innovative teams. For diverse employees, this call for championship is greater than ever as companies strengthen their inclusion initiatives and set the platform for more diverse representation in leadership and on boards. By offering and promoting both mentorship and sponsorship opportunities, companies can build more diverse, resilient, and productive teams no matter where work is happening.