njoki3On Sunday, the hashtag #NMGUnderSiege was trending for the better part of the day.

The origin was an article by Cyprian Nyakundi that ‘exposed’ Njoki Chege for plagiarism. The controversial Saturday Nation columnist had penned an article titled, “Ladies, wanna to get to C-Suite? Get a sponsor!”.

Hours later, Nyakundi wrote an article of his own titled, “#NMGUnderSiege: Njoki Chege exposed as a serial Plagiarist.”

Nyakundi accused Njoki of “lifting articles from international media” and making them look like hers.

He also ran one of her articles through an online plagiarism checker and ‘confirmed that indeed Njoki had plagiarized’.

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The plagiarism test concludes that the whole of Njoki’s article was plagiarized (0% unique). I would think that even if you steal other people’s work, you would at least make a few changes, right?

Nyakundi has never let facts come in the way of a good story, and this was no exception. He grossly misinterpreted how online plagiarism checkers work.

Most free tools check submitted text against the internet. So, when Nyakundi submitted Njoki’s article for plagiarism checking, it is highly likely that the software actually compared it to Njoki’s actual article on Nation’s website, and that may explain why it found 0% uniqueness.

Most plagiarism checkers are designed to be used with offline text that has never been published on the internet. For instance if you submit this article you are reading at this moment on a plagiarism checker, it will mostly likely be regarded as plagiarized. That’s because it is already published on the internet. If I did the same while it was still in its draft form, the results would have been different.

The most widespread use of plagiarism tools is lecturers checking students’ assignments for originality.

That said, Nyakundi provided an article from Harvard Business Review that he claimed Njoki Chege stole from. We’re having a hard time deciding whether there is any plagiarism here.

Read the two articles and help us decide.

The Real Benefit of Finding a Sponsor (Harvard Business Review) –> Link

For decades, women have been knocking on the door to the C-suite but getting little or no response. They finally learned the magic password.

More than 200 women and men braved wind and snow recently to attend the launch of “The Sponsor Effect: Breaking Through the Last Glass Ceiling,” a new study by theCenter for Work-Life Policy. Welcomed by American Express CEO Kenneth Chenault inAmex‘s New York headquarters high above the Hudson, representatives of corporate giants from Intel, Deloitte, Morgan Stanley, and GE, as well as influential organizations like the UN and the CIA , explored why, despite solid gains in middle and senior management representation, women hold just 3% of Fortune 500 CEO seats — and how they can change that.

What’s been holding women back, the study found, isn’t a male conspiracy but rather a surprising absence of advocacy from men and women in positions of power. Women who are qualified to lead simply don’t have the powerful backing necessary to inspire, propel, and protect themselves on their journey through upper management. Women lack, in a word, sponsorship.

What exactly is a sponsor? How do sponsors differ from mentors? Clarifying the definitions was an eye-opener for many who, until now, lacked the vocabulary to articulate the issue. “We have never had a consistent language” to describe the phenomenon, observed Ed Gadsden, Chief Diversity Officer at Pfizer. “Not having that language hampered our ability to formulate effective actions and programs.”

“The Sponsor Effect” defines a sponsor as someone who uses chips on his or her protégé’s behalf and advocates for his or her next promotion as well as doing at least two of the following: expanding the perception of what the protégé can do; making connections to senior leaders; promoting his or her visibility; opening up career opportunities; offering advice on appearance and executive presence; making connections outside the company; and giving advice. Mentors proffer friendly advice. Sponsors pull you up to the next level.

Women have more than enough mentors but are only half as likely as their male peers to have a sponsor. Consequently, they miss out on the measurable impact of the sponsor effect:

  • Without a sponsor behind them, 43% of men and 36% of women will ask their manager for a stretch assignment; with sponsor support, the numbers rise, respectively, to 56% and 44%.
  • The majority of unsponsored men (67%) and women (70%) resist confronting their boss about a raise; with a sponsor in their corner, nearly half of men and 38% of women summon the courage to negotiate.
  • A sponsor confers a statistical career benefit of anything from 22 to 30%, depending on what’s being requested (assignment or pay raise) and who’s asking (men or women).

Why do women fail to either access sponsorship or to make better use of it? Nods of agreement accompanied the revelation that the majority of ambitious women underestimate the pivotal role sponsorship plays in their advancement. “When you get to the level where decisions are made about your career that are not just up to an individual manager, feedback from other leaders becomes crucial,” noted Rosalind Hudnell, Chief Diversity Officer for Intel. “Having a sponsor who can provide that endorsement is critical.”

More important, the study pointed out, even women who do grasp the importance of relationship capital fail to cultivate it effectively. Many feel that getting ahead based on “who you know” is an inherently unfair — even “dirty” — tactic, a sentiment reinforced by the toxic assumption that sponsor relationships between powerful men and their female protégées must involve sexual favors. Even as they’re passed over for a plum assignment, pay raise, or promotion, too many qualified women persist in believing that hard work alone will merit them the rewards and recognition they deserve.

The study provided what Barbara Adachi, National Managing Director for Deloitte’s Human Capital practice, calls “the missing link” between analytics and on-the-ground action — not just for individuals, but for corporations who want to make sure their talented women get the sponsorship they need to succeed.

“Demography is destiny,” proclaimed Chenault, explaining why he personally backed Amex’s Women in the Pipeline and at the Top, a program that teaches highly qualified women how to earn sponsorship and connects them with senior leaders. A more engaged workforce is what gives a company its competitive edge, he noted, and with women representing more than 60% of the company’s worldwide workforce, it’s imperative to find this talent-rich population the backers who will help it fulfill its potential.

“We want to win in the marketplace, with the right people in the right way,” Chenault said. “Sponsorship is one of the tools to do this.”

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Ladies, wanna to get to C-Suite? Get a sponsor! (Njoki Chege – Daily Nation) –>Link

Dear young professional women who want to occupy that corner office and scale the corporate ladder.

Forget about mentors and “advisors”, what you really need is a sponsor. Yes, a sponsor, an older executive, preferably in the C-suite who will stick out his neck for you because, let’s face it, the corporate world is a shark tank. A girl in the corporate world, like Liverpool FC, must never walk alone.

What you need is somebody with a bit of muscle and power, a person who will directly and favourably influence your career. Somebody who believes in you, who believes in your ability, who understands your Rolls-Royce mind and who has nothing to lose if you land that promotion.

The biggest mistake many girls in the corporate world make is letting older women give them advice and “mentor” them.

Those older women don’t care about you. Why would they care about you, a pretty young thing (PYT) strutting your stuff all over Kimathi Street in red heels and a sheath-like dress that gives an x-ray outline of your body? Those older women will mentor you only up to a certain level and drop you like a hot potato the moment they feel threatened by you.

Women have never been known to help each other out and they will not start in 2016. In any case, if mentees were to be honest, they will tell you that mentors want you to do well, but not better than them.

Sponsors, on the other hand, want you to take over from them, and that is exactly the spirit that should drive a young, professional woman.

So, girls, firm up your red lipstick and wear those sky-high heels and confidently approach that sponsor seated in that air-conditioned C-Suite, preferably a male who will be more than eager to take you under his wing.

A sponsor who will put your name in the shortlist for that looming promotion. A sponsor who will fight your battles, those battles you are too young or inexperienced to fight.

A sponsor who will throw in a good word for you. A sponsor who will negotiate a nice deal for you, when, as research shows, young women are often too shy to negotiate better salaries and perks at work. A sponsor, whom the first name that pops in his mind for that career-making assignment will be yours.

A sponsor who will include you in high powered meetings to give you a window and introduce you to the world.

A sponsor, who, when things get tough, will text you and tell you to chin up.

It does not hurt to endear yourself to that sponsor, and I mean impress him with your good ideas, your talents (even those hidden) and most important, your ambition.

I will let you into a little secret. Sponsors love a woman with fierce ambition. They are turned on by a woman who will stop at nothing to get what she wants.

Most sponsors are happy to make you their “project” and cheer you on as you join their club of powerful boys.

Forget those older females who tell you how they “struggled” to get to the top over tea andmandazi.

Those woiye stories never helped a girl clinch a promotion.  If anything, older females in the corporate world are known to tear down younger, fresher women because they are threatened by their guts, confidence and ambition. They will prune you the moment you surprise them that you are actually smarter than they hoped you’d be.

The glass ceiling is specifically erected and cemented by these “mentors” to keep other women away.

Let fellow women talk and spread rumours about you. You are either successful with a lot of enemies or unsuccessful with a lot of friends.

What do you want with your life?  A mediocre, unimpressive life with a lot of friends, or an excellent career (with a lot of haters?). Would you rather have a phonebook full of friends or a bank account full of money? Think again.

A sponsor will not only hold your hand throughout your career, he will watch out for you. He will tell you about the possible pitfalls in your industry and, most important, a sponsor will help you navigate through any crisis.

The best and most profound career advice I have ever received was not from fellow women whom I bump into at the ladies, it was from male, experienced industry gurus who believed in me.

Let them hate, after all, this week they hate you, next week they love you, both weeks you get paid!

What do you think?