Review

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How Did They Get There? What Perspectives From the Top Tell Us About Developing Women Leaders in Academic Anesthesiology

Anesthesia Analgesia

Submitted January 2023 by Dr Susan Hale

Read by 161 Journal Watch subscribers

This editorial focuses on the concept of sponsorship in academic medicine as raised in the above study [Basile et al, 2023] and reflects on how effective sponsorship can be promulgated at personal, institutional and professional society levels.

Trainees and early career faculty:
- Recognise the importance of sponsorship in career progression
- Recognise that not all mentors can be sponsors
- Be prepared for spontaneous self-promotion opportunities
- Adhere to terms of sponsorship agreements
- Seek opportunities to sponsor junior colleagues and mentees

Sponsors and potential sponsors:
- Consider sponsorship a fundamental leadership action
- Identify departmental, institutional or professional society needs as opportunities for sponsorship
- Intentionally pair protégés with specific opportunities
- Set clear expectations for sponsorship
- Commit funding to support sponsorship
- Understand that sponsored opportunities may require ongoing support of longitudinal mentorship
- Share successful sponsorship opportunities with colleagues

Professional societies:
- Offer specific opportunities for early career participation in society and conference activities
- Use society platforms to sponsor early career members and to highlight the work of effective mentors and sponsors
- Develop speakers bureaus or other platforms to endorse and facilitate self-promotion by early career members
- Set policies to ensure representation in underrepresented groups in society activities
- Accept self-nominations as an avenue for advancement for members without access to effective sponsors
- Ensure that organisational structures provide opportunities for career advancement

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