This post was originally featured as part of LinkedIn Pulse on February 23, 2020.
It’s been a couple of weeks since my article in Forbes made headlines, and I’ve had a chance to digest all of the positive feedback I received from other leaders interested in supporting my pledge. It is quite heartwarming to see not only leaders in healthcare wanting to sponsor women of color, but also in other industries like higher education, finance, and retail. People whom I’ve never met were tweeting and posting on social media about making their pledge and highlighting the continued void of women of color in executive and leadership positions. I am excited about what we can accomplish in the next decade.
I was recently at an event celebrating the launch of the Healthcare Businesswomen’s Association’s Charlotte Affiliate where an attendee approached me about my article and wanted to know how I plan to accomplish sponsoring 100 women of color. “It’s such a big goal. What are you specifically doing to achieve it?” she said. That’s what I love about big, lofty goals – the excitement about what you can achieve, but also the potential of making a big impact. That’s the heart of what this pledge is all about – making a tangible impact and inspiring others to act. Imagine what we can do together if every executive sponsored 100 women of color and how transformational it can be to move the needle for gender parity. Thinking about it always gives me chills.
Here are ten ways that you can sponsor a woman of color in the workplace. No act is too big or too small. Each of these actions will bring visibility to her potential and elevate her for that next opportunity.
- Nominate her for industry awards to showcase her talent and accomplishments
- Make a warm introduction to a senior leader in your network that can provide an opportunity for advancement
- Nominate her for a corporate, community, or a non-profit board seat
- Celebrate her accomplishments on social media using #100×2030
- Select her for a high-profile project at work that will give her visibility with senior or C-suite leaders
- Nominate her for an executive development program to hone and advance her skills
- Interview her on a podcast to showcase her expertise and thought leadership
- Promote her to new career levels based on potential, not just on performance
- Nominate her for speaking engagements at local, regional, and national conferences
- Speak enthusiastically and positively about her accomplishments and value proposition with others when she is not in the room
What other ways have you sponsored women of color in the workplace? I would love to add to this list and provide leaders with additional tactics to sponsor with intent. Feel free to post your ideas below and tag women who have benefited from your sponsorship. Thank you for your continued support and love as I begin this journey with you. Please check out at my Forbes article and share your feedback with me on LinkedIn.
Together, we will move the needle to advance women of color in healthcare.