Workshop and drinks on sponsorship with Jennifer de Vries
On 22 May 2017 we organised a workshop on 'Sponsorship’ by Dr. Jennifer de Vries (Australia) in The Brasserie in the Spinoza building.
Jennifer de Vries has undertaken research on sponsorship practices in two research-intensive Australian universities. In the workshop "Are you being sponsored? How to attract sponsorship and be a sponsor in academia" she drew on her interview material to name and highlight sponsorship practices, examine the critical role of sponsorship in building academic careers and their capacity to be enabling and exclusionary.
Jen helped participants to distinguish between sponsorship and mentoring and left them a better idea of what sponsorship looks like, why understanding the difference is critical, how they can more actively participate in giving and receiving sponsorship, and their role as leaders in providing sponsorship.
Jen sees sponsorship as active engagement in the creation of career-enhancing opportunities. It is different to mentoring, which is a more passive process of advice giving. Sponsorship has been identified as the ‘missing ingredient’ in women’s careers (Ibarra, Carter and Silva 2010). Perhaps neither mentoring nor sponsorship will provide the magic solution to building academic careers in the current higher education context, however sponsorship is definitely an important piece of the career success puzzle. Jen gave examples from her own experience and provided exercises to identify any gaps or shortfalls in the participants' own careers and to work on ways to address this for themselves, their colleagues and women more collectively.
The workshop was followed by drinks and "bitterballen".