4 Ways to Help Women Seek Power

Business team including young womanAnd why some women resist using networks.

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

Women tend to have a limited appreciation of how their networks can help them get ahead professionally. Developing strong business networks is critical for career advancement. Because a leader operates through others, her value and effectiveness are largely tied to the power of her network.

MORE ON SPONSORING WOMEN FOR LEADERSHIP: 3 Ways Women Benefit When Seen as Leaders | 4 Firm Benefits of Sponsoring Women as Leaders

Yet women are reluctant to cultivate potential sponsors through their networks, while men willingly use patronage and networks to open doors and provide opportunities that cannot be accessed through normal channels. Men attribute their promotions to personal connections as a matter of pride, not embarrassment, because it means that influential people see them as leaders and reward them accordingly. As a result, men benefit from the political processes that go on all around them while women lose out.

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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