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Cristina Gibson Publishes Research on Career Advancement Through Sponsorship

Dr. Cristina GibsonDr. Cristina Gibson, Dean's Distinguished Professor of Management at Pepperdine Graziadio, was part of a research team in the recently published study in Group & Organization Management, “Increasing Career Advancement Opportunities Through Sponsorship: An Identity-Based Model With Illustrative Application to Cross-Race Mentorship of African Americans.”

Most mentorship relationships rely heavily on interpretation of both the mentor and mentees concepts of self-identity, and negotiating that definition as roles are defined. Although social support is often part of the mentorship experience, non-white mentees have reported less support than their white counterparts, resulting in negative implications for career advancement. Cross-race sponsorship is particularly dire among African-Americans, with the representation of African Americans in management rank declining on top of low representation in mentoring opportunities.

Cristina’s study examines the role of identity work in sponsorship and theorizes how sponsorship for African American mentees is an especially useful approach for career advancement for this underrepresented group. The authors findings suggest that organizations should be more proactive in promoting sponsorship, especially those seeking to achieve greater diversity in the upper echelons of their organization through mentoring efforts.

The study’s abstract is available here.