Who’s speaking about your career progression when you are not there?

A couple of weeks ago I listened to a podcast discussing barriers and mindsets to succeed in White male-dominated industries for those that don't belong to those groups.

There was a sentence that encapsulates why I tell people that finding career sponsors is key to their career progression

"The biggest decisions of your career are always made when you’re not in the room. Then, the question becomes who is in the room who can advocate for you on your behalf?"

I've asked the women and nonbinary people in tech I coach to reflect on the following:

1. Who do you know that will be in the rooms where those decisions about your career will be made?

2. How well are those people acquainted with your achievements, skills, experience, and potential?

3. Most importantly, if you’re not happy with your answers to (1) and (2) above, what can you do in the next two weeks about it?

What's your answer to those questions?

iynna's profile thumbnail
This is such an important convo and I can't wait to see the responses!
vcasillas's profile thumbnail
This sounds like such an interesting podcast! Can you share the title of it?
heysharonpaz's profile thumbnail
This is a great point to raise! We all need advocates for us!
annajmcdougall's profile thumbnail
Love this! I try to be "that person" for other women and historically excluded individuals now that I'm at the Director level. I can't help but think of Hamilton: "I wanna be in the room where it happens!"
PatriciaGestoso's profile thumbnail
Wow! I love how intentional you are @annajmcdougall about who you support. It resonates with me on so many levels!
ericadavis5's profile thumbnail
I owe my most significant opportunities to teachers, coaches, managers, and mentors who were always as invested in success as theirs and my own in tangent. They knew my potential and value-add because they were often a significant benefactor and saw/heard how I'd helped others. They are also the ones who I realized not only put me forward they also had my back when I couldn't be there to speak for myself, and they support me even when there ISN'T something to gain. For me, these make the difference between empty networking or tit-for-tat advocacy versus professional (and developmental) relationships that are both collaborative and reciprocally worthwhile. Thank you for the insightful reminder, Patricia!
PatriciaGestoso's profile thumbnail
I'm so glad to read your post! I've also benefited from great sponsors in my life. On the flip side, my career has also been negatively impacted by bystanders - people that would praise my achievements, skills, and potential TO ME but that wouldn't advocate for me in the rooms where promotions were discussed.Onward and upward!
emilygiddings's profile thumbnail
So important. This is why we're working on a Peer Portal at LessonsUp to help more underrepresented people in tech connect with each other to talk industry, brainstorm together about projects, strategize career moves, get second opinions on projects, learn about job opportunities, and even find mentorship!Here are my answers:1. Since we measure, track, and consistently report our team progress, my team cheers on my personal wins, newsletter open rates, community growth, and Job Search Boot Camp signups. The Founders at my company know what I'm capable of, and I trust them to pay me appropriately for my determination and results, on part with market value, as we head into additional funding. 2. Luckily, the whole team at LessonsUp is very supportive about each other's Key Results. We practice "elevator pitches" with the people who join our TalentList, so that this point we're pretty familiar with each other's quantifiable wins.3. If I didn't have that transparency, I wouldn't feel confident that anyone knew about my contributions and I would probably instigate a bi-weekly or monthly Wins Day to share goals, achievements, and team recognition.
PatriciaGestoso's profile thumbnail
Wow, I'd love to learn more about the "Peer Portal", it sounds like an initiative that can spreadhead deep and lasting change.If you ever want to share more about it, get in touch, please! https://www.linkedin.com/in/patriciagestoso/Patricia
Nyaima's profile thumbnail
@PatriciaGestoso Wow, this is a powerful statement to remember and two great questions to ask myself now.