Participants in Diversifying Leadership are expected to engage and work with a sponsor throughout and beyond the programme. Sponsors, in addition to passing on knowledge and advice similarly to mentors also use their seniority and organisational capital to actively advocate and ‘open doors’ to promote their protégés’ careers. While sponsors (in addition to mentors and champions) have made a pivotal contribution to the success of programmes like Aurora, sponsors for the Diversifying Leadership programme, so far, can find establishing a positive and productive cross-cultural relationship with their protégés rewarding but challenging.
The Sponsor Toolkit is an additional resource for sponsors, consisting of web-based materials and interactive support. It has been made available to ensure sponsors have a better understanding of the specific issues facing BME early career leaders and are confident to carry out their role in championing them. The toolkit is informed by relevant academic literature and best practice on sponsorship and the experience and development of aspiring BME leaders.
Wider stakeholder groups such as mentors, line mangers, EDI professionals and senior leaders who play a complimentary role in leadership development will also find the toolkit informative and are welcome and encouraged to access this resource as appropriate.
These modules have been designed to be used at key intervals during the Diversifying Leadership programme so that sponsor and protégé can explore the issues raised in real time. The materials, which include useful guidance and practical tips for sponsors, are organised into five individual modules, each tackling a different topic, as follows:
Module One: The role of the sponsor
Specification of what the role of the sponsor is, what their expected contribution will be and what qualities they will bring to the role
Module Two: Race matters
This module tackles issues related to race and how a willingness to ‘talk about race’ can strengthen the relationship, and increase the chances for protégé career success. This module includes a webinar* where sponsors will have an opportunity share experiences and raise questions.
Module Three: The long and winding road - leadership in academia
This module encourages the sponsor to share their own leadership journey, identifying career enablers, barriers and critical junctions
Module Four: The tallest poppy: visibility and the double bind
Sponsors will be introduced to the complex ways that bias can play out in institutions and what they can do to counter this in their advocacy of their protégé.
Module Five: Mapping the journey-career planning
Sponsors will be introduced to a process of working with their protégé to create a five year career plan, identifying future career opportunities and barriers.
*Arrangements for the webinar will be made with all confirmed sponsors directly.
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