WHN NY 2023: Mentoring Up and Down & the Power of a Sponsor

A panel explained the approaches to finding strong partners and advocates in the workplace at the 12th Women's Hemispheric Network Conference in New York.


  • Samantha Saperstein, Managing Director and Head of Women on the Move, J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. 
  • Marcela Ruenes, Counsel, Latham & Watkins LLP 
  • Nicolle Feria Pino, VP Ecommerce and Consumer Enterprise Marketing & Data, The Estée Lauder Companies
  • Jim Brennan, Senior Partner, BCG

“Women, seek out women as much as you can because the common experiences are really important as you grow,” said Nicolle Feria Pino of The Estée Lauder Companies at the 12th Annual AS/COA Women's Hemispheric Network Conference: New York. For Feria Pino, sponsorship and mentorship relationships provide the forum for women to help uplift each other in the workplace.

 “When I think of a sponsor, not only are they pounding the table for you, they’re talking about you behind closed doors and really advocating for you, and they’re giving you feedback," said Samantha Saperstein of J.P. Morgan Chase & Co. She explained that a sponsor can give you the visibility you need to advance in your career. “Don’t rely on corporate programs to do this," she said before detailing various ways to find a sponsor.

“It doesn’t have to be the biggest shot at your practice or your professional network,” said Marcela Ruenes of Latham & Watkins. She recommended looking toward peers for sponsorship and mentorship. Feria Pino agreed and said women sponsors can be particularly important. "Having women understand these common experiences and help you navigate them with authenticity, transparency, and honesty is very important," she said.