Sponsorship – The Last Mile

4 September 2023

Welcome to The Last Mile, a new podcast featuring interviews with six women about their pathway to ownership, the people who sponsored them to cover the last mile, and their own sponsorship practices.

The Last Mile is a series of six interviews featuring women in equity positions within the Champions of Change architecture practices. All have in common an ability to shift their mindsets and facilitate personalised sponsorship techniques crucial for success. By sharing stories, successes and failures, these leaders can influence others and drive positive change.

Each interview explores a different facet of sponsorship and career development. See below to access these.

Sponsorship is a significant equaliser and accelerator, particularly when it comes to enabling more women to progress in their careers and navigate the last mile to equity ownership. And yet, the value of sponsorship is not well known in architecture. This podcast aims to change this narrative. It seeks to empower architectural professionals in leadership positions to embrace sponsorship as best practice.

Despite women comprising 48–49% of recent architectural graduates, they remain underrepresented in leadership and ownership roles (Parlour 2021). The transition from being an outstanding second-in-command to becoming an owner appears to be the most significant challenge. Sponsorship is an essential step in paving the way for women to bridge this gap.

This is not a one-size-fits-all approach. Sponsorship is an organic form of advocacy, which can effectively develop, guide and advance careers, providing visibility both within and outside an organisation.

The Sponsorship Toolkit developed by the Champions of Change Architecture Group serves as a strategic guide to implementing sponsorship practices within a wider framework. See the Stepping Up articles from last year’s series: “What is career sponsorship and why does it matter?” and “How to support career sponsorship”. You can also watch the related ‘Stepping Up on Supporting the Careers of Others’ CPD video recording.

Through the direct experiences of the women who graciously participated in this podcast series, the Champions of Change Architecture Group hopes to illustrate how these strategies can result in meaningful cultural shifts towards a more equitable industry.

You can access the six episodes below and read Brian Clohessy and Isabella Aliberti’s reflections on the themes that emerge.

This podcast is an initiative of the Sponsorship Action Group from Champions of Change Architecture Group. BVN, nettletontribe, Bates Smart, PTW and Woods Bagot were all involved.

The Sponsorship Action Group was led by Ninotschka Titchkosky of BVN and Donal Challoner of nettletontribe. Implementation leaders were Brian Clohessy (BVN), Isabella Aliberti (BVN) and Tia Soulakellis (nettletontribe). The Implementation team was Sam de Jongh (Woods Bagot), Celine Herbiet (Bates Smart) and Adele Troeger (PTW). Nuala Collins, Kylie Fair, Samantha Kennedy and Sofie Pringle were involved in the early stages of the project.

The podcast interviews were undertaken by Brian Clohessy, Isabella Aliberti, Tia Soulakellis and Sam de Jongh, with support from Jerome Flores (BVN). The Last Mile is published in collaboration with Parlour.