The Sponsor Effect: Breaking Through the Last Glass Ceiling

By Sylvia Ann Hewlett, with Kerrie Peraino, Laura Sherbin, and Karen Sumberg – Center for Work-Life Policy

Survey research sponsored by: American Express, Deloitte, Intel, and Morgan Stanley
EXECUTIVE SUMMARY
Women just aren’t making it to the very top. Despite making gains in middle and senior management, they hold just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions. In the C-suite, they’re outnumbered four to one. They account for less than 16 percent of all corporate officers, and comprise only 7.6 percent of Fortune 500 top earner positions.
What’s keeping them under this last glass ceiling? What we uncover in this report is not a male conspiracy, but rather, a surprising absence of male (and female) advocacy. Women who are qualified to lead simply don’t have the powerful backing necessary to inspire, propel, and protect them through the perilous straits of upper management. Women lack, in a word, sponsorship.
Spearheaded by American Express, Deloitte, Intel, and Morgan Stanley, the Hidden Brain Drain Task Force launched a study in the fall of 2009 to determine the nature and impact of sponsorship and examine just why women fail to either access or make better use of it.

Read the full review here.

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