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Sponsoring women talent for success

Saturday December 25, 2021, By Sumona Chetia

“One of the programs that we are proud of is the Pay It Forward program focused on sponsoring women for success,” said Lavanya Shrinagesh, Global Corporate Social Responsibility and Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion leader, Genpact. She was speaking at The Best Practices of the 100 Best Conference (BOB).
Sponsorship programs are key to the advancement of women in the workplace. Studies have found that advocacy of sponsors is a more powerful tool than mentorship alone. The power of sponsorship is about nurturing the right talent, creating futuristically great leaders, and providing them with the right opportunities to grow.

Sponsorship accelerates the accessibility to powerful networks and connections.
Pay It Forward program, as described by Lavanya, is a friend, a partner, a mentor, who helps whether you are a sponsor or a protégé, navigate and guide your career over time.

The design principles of the program are as follows:
1) How to support sponsors and protégés to create a strong and meaningful relationship that encourages open conversation and communication?
2) How to measure if the program is working for the sponsor or the protégé?
3) Could the sponsors and protégés pay it forward and pass on the fact to someone else that someone took focused attention on developing their careers, therefore creating the ripple effect?

Sponsorship is a two-way street. A sponsor invests time, commitment, and trust, and in return, the protégé has to deliver the best performance and loyalty. Both have to be equally engaged to create a meaningful outcome.

To nurture the relationship between the sponsor and the protégé, the Pay It Forward campaign includes:
1) Speed Mentoring Event that lets the sponsor and protégé get to know each other
2) Masterclass on cultivating connections, embracing challenges etc.
3) Pay it Forward Teams Channel that helps in exchanging ideas and working together
4) A robust communication plan

The impact of the Pay It Forward program are:
1) Increased retention of talented women employees
2) Personal fulfilment both on the sponsor and protégé standpoint
3) Higher representation of women in the succession slate or senior leadership roles
To sum it up, the Pay It Forward program is a symbiotic relationship between the sponsor and the protégé that culminates into the satisfaction of nurturing rockstar talents.

Author Profile

Sumona Chetia
Sumona Chetia
An Associate Consultant- Content Development & Marketing at Avtar, when not hoarding books, she's busy reading and reviewing books.

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