November 19, 2019 Article

Why It Pays to Give: Sponsorship as a Two-Way Street

For women lawyers, who often lack senior women mentors and sponsors in their firms, reciprocity is critical for fostering gender equality at law firms and beyond.

By Francine Friedman Griesing and Nicole D. Galli

As Adam Grant highlights in his best-selling book, Give and Take, success is increasingly dependent on how we interact with others: Giving more, but smartly, correlates with valuable professional outcomes. For women lawyers, who often lack senior women mentors and sponsors in their firms, reciprocity is even more critical for fostering gender equality at law firms and beyond. It often takes the support of an “old girls’ network” to achieve success. In this article, we share our experiences on how sponsorship has been fruitful for us over the course of our more than 20-year relationship and, more generally, on how sponsorship is most effective when both parties are supporting and promoting one other—from award nominations to referrals to coauthoring articles like this one. 

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