GHD, July 20 2021

Supporting future female leaders through the Cultivate Sponsorship Program

A new cohort of GHD’s emerging female leaders and senior leader sponsors has kicked off participation in the Cultivate Sponsorship Program for 2021.

The Cultivate Sponsorship Program is a seven-month structured program coordinated by external organisation Cultivate which provides an opportunity for female emerging leaders to form a partnership with senior leaders across our business. These senior leaders sponsor the participants to help further develop the skills they need to succeed.

This year is GHD’s third year running the program and its new cohort includes seven participants compared to four in 2020.

As one of the sponsors, Catherine Drury-Fox – People Leader, Global Business Services, Digital and Advisory, is well aware of the potential value a formal sponsorship program like Cultivate can offer. “Women often aspire to be senior leaders but navigate that path quite differently to some of their male colleagues. The Cultivate Sponsorship Program has assisted us in understanding that more structured sponsorship really helps build confidence in women to take on more complex leadership roles and be successful. Cultivate’s research also shows that 86 percent of women say that when they see more women in leadership, they believe they can get there too, so it’s really important for organisations to have programs like this in place to help meet gender targets and make a difference to gender equality.”

The sponsorship program focuses on three key phases: preparing, connecting and enduring. These phases allow participants to prepare themselves, connect with monthly face-to-face catch ups and complete the program with new insights into their potential and career path ahead.

As an example of what the program provides, in 2018, Phil Duthie, Chief Operating Officer, GHD sponsored Monica George, through the Cultivate Sponsorship Program, which ultimately helped her feel more comfortable with and better prepared to tackle her career aspirations.