Beware Misunderstandings About Work Relationships

Shoe-only view of man and woman at office, back to back3 ways to derail sponsorships.

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

We know that even when a relationship between a woman and a man is strictly business-focused, others may not see it that way. Here are three thorny issues to watch for and quell.

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1. Gossip and rumors

Relationships in the workplace are frequently the subject of rumors, and close relationships between senior men and junior women are tasty fodder for the gossip mill. Because sponsorship between a man and woman is not as common as sponsorship between two men, it is more noticeable and subjects the man and woman to greater scrutiny.

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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