Fears of Innuendo, Gossip Impede Development

Overhead view of male and female business partners analyzing statistical annual report represented in graphs on digital tablet.Keep close relationships from getting too close.

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

A close work relationship between a man and a woman can generate sexual tensions in one or both of them.

When the man is older and powerful and the woman is young and ambitious, the potential for complications is even greater.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: Women Must See Politics As Leadership | Why Some Women Resist Using Networks | 5 Ways Women Get Shoved Aside | 18 Ways to Boost Your Protégée | Women Leaders Provide 6 Market Advantages | Why CPA Firms Need More Women | Beyond Mentoring to Sponsorship

Even when the relationship is strictly business focused, it can be the subject of rumors, gossip and speculation among coworkers, and it can arouse feelings of jealousy and resentment in the sponsor’s wife.

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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