Why Men Don't See Women as Leaders

Woman and man holding same documentAnd 3 ways men can change.

By Ida O. Abbott
Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

Let’s assume a powerful man works with two junior colleagues, a man and a woman, who are both equally talented, motivated and superbly skilled performers. According to what we know from research and experience, that powerful man is more likely to sponsor the man than the woman.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Thanks for the Advice, But I’d Really Prefer a Promotion | 18 Ways to Boost Your Protégée | Women Leaders  |  Provide 6 Market Advantages | Why CPA Firms Need More Women | Beyond Mentoring to Sponsorship | Protect Your Protégée from Flextime Saboteurs | How to Keep Sex from Derailing a Sponsorship | ‘Soft Skills’ Advice Needed, Too | Use Others to Promote Your Protégée | 8 Ways Sponsors Can Highlight Opportunities | 17 Ways Sponsors Can Help Protégées | 3 Ways to Open a Sponsorship Conversation | What Sponsors Need from Protégées | 3 Ways to Derail Sponsorships | Keep Close Relationships From Getting Too Close | 4 Reasons Women Hold Themselves Back | 4 Ways Sponsors Can Help Women Seek Power | Bias About Women with Families Lingers | Judged on Performance, Not Potential? Must Be a Woman | Gender Bias Still a Problem | Why Women Are Overlooked (And How to Fix It)

Why is that? What factors go into a sponsor’s calculation about where to place his most active support and for whom to expend his political capital? And why don’t more women come across as “leadership material,” even when their talents and abilities should make them great candidates? I have some answers.

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Ida O. Abbott



About the Author

Ida O. Abbott has long been recognized as a leader in the fields of mentoring, leadership development and professional development.

Abbott is the author of Sponsoring Women: What Men Need to Know

For many years, Ida has been at the forefront of efforts to promote women in the professions. She is co-founder of the Hastings Leadership Academy for Women at the University of California Hastings College of the Law, where she is also a Faculty Fellow.

She is on the Advisory Board of the New York Women’s Bar Association Foundation and operates the Roundtable for Women Leaders. Ida is a member of the Executive Committee for the National Legal Mentoring Consortium, Advisor to the Institute of Mentoring and Special Advisor to the International Bar Association Law Firm Mentoring Program.

She is a Fellow of the College of Law Practice Management. Before starting her consulting firm, Ida practiced law for 20 years. She specialized in complex litigation at Heller Ehrman White & McAuliffe, where she also ran the firm’s professional development and pro bono programs. Ida received her J.D. from Hastings College of the Law, M.A. from the University of Miami, and A.B. from Smith College. Ida is the author of several books and publications, including Women on Top: The Woman’s Guide to Leadership and Power in Law Firms and The Lawyer’s Guide to Mentoring.

Click here for more by Ida O. Abbott