While a mentor speaks with you and shares from their invaluable learning, a sponsor speaks about you behind closed doors and champions you to others. Sponsors have a dramatic influence on an individual’s career advancement, company succession plans and elevating diverse leaders. As Twomentor Founder and CEO says, “the hiring room is often not a meritocracy. Every successful candidate in that room has a champion speaking up for them.” Unfortunately, not all high potential employees have equitable access to sponsors and most leaders mentor and sponsor in their own likeness. Research from Mckinsey, the Center for Talent Innovation, the Boston Consulting Group have all shown that people of color, women, LGBTQ+ individuals and other under-represented groups often lack sponsors. Formal sponsorship programs engineer and ensure access to internal champions for high potential employees. Simultaneously, these initiatives also help executives build their leadership skills and living legacies.