Many organizations have focused on mentoring as a key element in their strategies to increase the numbers and advancement of women. This is a common approach in business and industry but data from many areas suggests that mentoring alone, is not nearly as effective in creating an environment where women are attracted, retained and promoted as many women and men think.
Sponsorship is an active approach that can be used by those with power and privilege in organizations (often men) to actively support the advancement of women in specific, measurable and accountable ways. Those in position of power can be highly effective and impactful sponsors. Those who have achieved positions of seniority can be effective mentors and anyone can be an effective champion. All of us need all of these types of people in our lives and careers.
We will discuss how to identify these individuals, the actions they can make to create positive change and the ways in which we can all be all three for our own communities.
Dr. Coe is internationally recognized as a Canadian thought leader in the area of equity, diversity and inclusion (EDI) in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM). Along with being the Founding Dean of Science at Ryerson University, she has advised academia, government and industry on best practices and approaches to improve EDI and has contributed to national dialogue about these issues through various platforms. She is much in demand as a speaker and panelist and has received numerous awards for her advocacy work.