13 February 2022

Season 3, Episode 4. Sponsorship vs. Mentorship with Carol Seymour

Welcome to Innovation Meets Leadership! I’m your host, Natalie Born. In this episode, we have Carol Seymour who will be differentiating sponsorship and mentorship. Throughout the times in the workforce, we have been experiencing biases and some forms may not even be obvious. As we dig into these, there came the need to heavily consider sponsorship as the way to elevate our profiles as women leaders.


Carol Seymour is a sought-after business leader and catalyst for growth. As an executive advisor to businesses and executives around the globe, she has a passion for helping leaders perform at maximum potential in their professions and lives.

Carol founded Signature Leaders in 2013 at the request of a dozen global heads of HR, and now runs multiple leadership-focused offerings FOR women, not about women, including Signature Premier, Signature Select, Strive, and Surge. Today, more than 1,600 global executives in the Fortune 1000 are part of Signature Leaders, which also partners with more than 130 market-leading companies for their selective investments, including Eastman, ADP, Ahold Delhaize, Ingersoll Rand, ServiceNow, Cardinal Health, Merck, UPS, Nestle, Southern Company, AT&T, and Cigna. She is also a top-rated speaker, named one of the Top 40 Women Keynote Speakers for 2020 by RealLeaders Magazine, spending most of her speaking time with women’s forums, industry conferences, and client leadership forums.



[00:31] The Sobering Reality of Economic Parity for Women

  • Introducing Carol Seymour
  • Developing and accelerating more women into leadership roles
    • The area of sponsorship is essentially misunderstood.
    • According to a report, economic parity for women will happen after 257 years.
      • Sponsorship as a tool
      • Attaning velocity
  • Distinguishing between sponsorship and mentorship
    • Mentorship is private, one to one, providing guidance and counseling.
    • Sponsorship is being invested in the individual, elevating the person, and being the person behind the curtain.
      • Advocating vs. advising


[05:26] Bridging the Gap: The Critical Role of Advocates

  • Getting an advocate
    • Your direct supervisor cannot be your sponsor. It should be someone who does not know much about you.
    • The key is to show initiative in other areas that need bridging to show your fullest capacity.
      • Opportunity for organizations to advocate
      • Moving away from the unconscious bias
  • Why advocating is critical
    • Sponsorship can change the entire trajectory of your career.
    • Without someone advocating for you, you are left to elevate your own profile.
      • Raising your visibility


[11:06] Inviting Opportunities for Sponsorship through Exposure

  • Sponsorship happening naturally
    • The tradition of contrasting opportunities for men and women are still taking place.
      • Disproportion of sponsorship
      • Affinity bias
  • Movements as double-edged swords
    • The “Me Too” movement might have exposed a lot, but it has also closed some doors.
  • Exposure to great talent and key persons
    • Sponsorship and mentorship is like a Chinese folding fan.
      • Build trusting relationships
    • Sometimes it's pointing out that you're ready when you don't even think you are.
      • Advocates to encourage
      • Not creating mini-me’s


[19:25] Final Thoughts 

  • Organizations must consider the need to sponsor.
  • Connect with Carol (Links Below)


Key Quotes:

“They [women leaders] have to know the things that I do, you have to build a trusted relationship. So you can start with mentorship, you can ask someone to be your mentor, you can't ask someone to be your sponsor.” - Carol Seymour

“Sponsorship can change the entire trajectory of your career.” - Carol Seymour

“Sometimes it's pointing out that you're ready when you don't even think you are.” - Carol Seymour

“Your direct supervisor is typically not going to be a sponsor, right? That's their job to kind of help develop you, what you want to do is get some visibility by people who actually don't know that much about you… Being part of those allows visibility into some of the other things that you're capable of.” - Carol Seymour

Connect with Carol

Website:  https://signatureleaders.com/

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/carol-seymour-40897614

Book: Wisdom Warriors


Today's SPONSORSHIP is brought to you by Territory Global. You can connect with us on Instagram, and Twitter or visit our website territory.co Join the workforce movement!

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