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Meet our Next Generation Women Leaders: Anniken

Read more about: Diversity | Community

– My name is Anniken, and I am a business analyst in Oslo. In 2014, I participated in Next Generation Women Leaders (NGWL). Those three days were probably the most inspiring of my life. I heard new perspectives on women’s leadership that became important for my personal development.

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One of the most powerful topics at NGWL was the difference between sponsorship and mentorship. Sponsors and mentors have the same goal: supporting you in achieving yours. They use different approaches to do so.

A mentor is a guide who offers you advice, helps you solve problems and make difficult decisions, and shares her or his experience with you to help you learn and grow.

A sponsor advocates for you when you need visibility, new opportunities, different contacts and connections, or a champion for your advancement.

At McKinsey, there is a strong culture for supporting and investing in each other’s development. I found my first mentor when I interned almost three years ago. We were team mates and she gave me countless time-saving PowerPoint and Excel tips. Later, I went back to her when I needed advice on my career journey. Our relationship grew stronger when I returned to a full-time position at McKinsey, and she supported me during a rough project. I had taken on too much responsibility and was working around the clock to deliver to the client. I was frustrated and felt totally unsuccessful. It was extremely helpful to talk to someone who could see everything from outside the situation. My mentor shared her experiences from a similar situation. Together, we figured out a plan for how I could better manage expectations to turn the situation into a fun learning experience. Over time, my mentor is becoming my sponsor. She is one of my biggest supporters and we are both seeking opportunities to work with each other again.

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At NGWL, we discussed the fact that fewer business women than men have sponsors. I wanted to make a difference in this matter, so I joined the organizing team for this year’s event. I hope you will apply and find the event as important and inspiring as I did. I hope you will meet people who can guide you on your journey. Look for me there – perhaps we will be the next great team.

Interested in joining NGWL? Apply here.

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