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Helping others develop careers helps everyone, Catalyst reports

Monday, June 25, 2012  
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Helping others develop their full potential pays off not only for emerging talent, but for those who invest time in cultivating them, according to "Leaders Pay it Forward,” a new Catalyst report. And more women than men, it turns out, are helping others move up the ladder.

High-potential talent who were mentored, coached or sponsored to advance in their careers are more likely to "pay it forward” by developing the next generation of leaders, according Catalyst. And the effort benefits not only protégés, but leads to career advancement and compensation growth for those providing the assistance -- $25,075 in additional compensation between 2008 and 2010.

Sixty-five percent of women who received career development support are now developing new talent, compared to 56 percent of men, Catalyst reported. What’s more, 73 percent of the women developing new talent are developing women, compared to only 30 percent of men.

"This report dispels the misconception that women’s career advancement lags behind men’s because they don’tpay it forward to other women. It shows that women are in fact actively helping each other succeed,” said Ilene H. Lang, president and CEO of Catalyst. "The notion that women executives are Queen Bees who are unwilling to support other women needs to be put to rest.”

High-potentials who are paying it forward today recognize that others once took a risk on them and gave them their chance -- and now it’s their turn. The men and women who are more likely to be developing others have themselves received developmental support (59 percent) versus those who have not received this type of support (47 percent). These leaders were also more likely sponsored (66 percent) as opposed to not receiving sponsorship (42 percent). These women and men also are more proactive when it comes to their own career advancement (63 percent) versus those who are relatively inactive (42 percent) with regard to their own career advancement.

"Paying it forward is an essential element of being an outstanding leader, and it benefits everyone involved -- it’s a virtuous circle that leads to more of the same,” Lang said. "We hope that this report helps to dispel myths and prompts organizations and leaders to consider ways to pay it forward to make the most of their talent pool.”

Full report

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