Knowledge Center

Mentoring: Necessary But Insufficient for Advancement

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The Promise of Future Leadership: Highly Talented Employees in the Pipeline project surveys graduates of leading business schools in the United States, Canada, Europe, and Asia, with the intent of assessing their career values, goals, and expectations, the developmental opportunities afforded them, and their strategies for managing work and family life. The reports highlight the differences in women's and men's career experiences and satisfaction; some feature perspectives from global leaders and other experts.

The third report, Mentoring: Necessary But Insufficient for Advancement, examines the impact of mentoring on the career advancement of high potentials. Findings reveal that having a mentor before starting a first post-MBA job results in greater compensation and a higher-level position—but the payoff is greater for men than for women. Mentors continue to impact careers over time, but men’s mentors are more senior, which results in more promotions and greater compensation.

The report highlights the distinction between mentoring (career advice and guidance) and sponsorship (advocacy by someone highly placed in the organization) and builds on “Why Men Still Get More Promotions Than Women,” an article in the Harvard Business Review by Herminia Ibarra, Nancy M. Carter, and Christine Silva. The report also includes insights from senior leaders on the distinction between mentoring and sponsorship and the sponsorship activities being undertaken in their organizations.

Additional Information:

Jim Turley, Chairman & CEO, Ernst & Young discusses women, sponsors and advancement. Click the image below to watch the video.

President's Circle: American Express
Executive Circle: Barclays Capital
Mentor Circle: Chevron Corporation, Credit Suisse Group, General Motors Company, The Procter & Gamble Company, Scotiabank