This informal CPD article, ‘EDI Strategies: The Pros and Cons of Advocacy and Sponsorship’, was provided by Chiedza Ikpeh, Director of RARA Education Project. RARA is a Black and Female-led organisation that is committed to facilitating safe learning and working environments where Black and Indigenous People of Colour (BIPOC) can advance, connect, and thrive in UK society.
In recent years, employers and equity, diversity, and inclusion (EDI) specialists have implemented various strategies to promote inclusion in their organizations, recognizing that diverse and inclusive workplaces have been linked to numerous benefits such as increased creativity, better decision-making, and improved financial performance.
Advocacy and sponsorship are two approaches used in the workplace to promote diversity, equity, and inclusion. Advocacy involves endorsing an employee who is otherwise marginalized or underrepresented, while sponsorship involves actively promoting and advocating for someone's career advancement. While these approaches can have benefits, they also come with potential drawbacks. In this article, we will discuss the pros and cons of advocacy and sponsorship in the workplace.
Pros of Advocacy and Sponsorship
Advocacy and sponsorship can help increase diversity in the workplace by promoting the advancement of underrepresented groups. Research has shown that diversity can lead to better decision-making, improved innovation, and increased profitability. A study by McKinsey & Company found that companies in the top quartile for ethnic and racial diversity are 36% more likely to have above-average financial returns than those in the bottom quartile.
Builds strong relationships
Advocacy and sponsorship can help build strong relationships between mentors and mentees. A study published in the Academy of Management Journal found that mentorship relationships can increase job satisfaction, organizational commitment, and career success.
Encourages professional development
Advocacy and sponsorship can encourage professional development by providing guidance, feedback, and resources to help employees advance their careers. This can lead to increased job satisfaction, motivation, and engagement.