Why Mentorship and Sponsorship Matter with Google's Sharleen Gutierrez

Why Mentorship and Sponsorship Matter with Google's, Sharleen Gutierrez

The evidence is clear: women tend to be over-mentored and under-sponsored. While a mentor has knowledge and will share it with you, a sponsor has power and will use it for you. Meet Google’s Sharleen Gutierrez, a leading expert in diversity, equity and inclusion. Sharleen is the current Director of REWS Business Enablement Partners and has led teams focused on fairness and equity in Google’s talent processes. In this episode, Sharleen shares her story on how taking courageous leaps, even when she felt she wasn’t ready, paved the way to uncover her superpower. And, how her network of peers and mentors helped open doors to opportunities that accelerated her success. 

She’s a strong believer in bringing together people with a wide variety of perspectives and experiences to get results. She prioritizes working on coaching and mentoring teams and developing talent. Sharleen is also a parent and shares with us her personal stories and the three things that help her juggle her priorities.



[02:25] Sharleen’s story
[05:08] Career start at Goldman Sachs
[08:17] How I landed in Diversity & Inclusion
[11:17] The power of your community
[16:00] How to think about networking
[18:48] Discovering your superpower
[22:05] Advice for career minded parents
[26:58] Learning from failures and setbacks


“Shift your mindset to a place where you hold a higher value on the opportunity versus on how qualified you are for the job.” – Sharleen Gutierrez

“Understand your networking style and consider how it works for you.” – Sharleen Gutierrez

“Non-negotiables are very important for you to know and to serve as an anchor, as you’re determining your priorities.” – Sharleen Gutierrez

“Know what your priorities are, commit to them, and then let go when things are not exactly the way you want them.” – Sharleen Gutierrez

“Be mindful and approach life from a place of gratitude.” – Sharleen Gutierrez

“Staying in the wrong role does not benefit anyone, it actually does a disservice to everyone involved.” – Sharleen Gutierrez

“When thinking of success, keep human connection and interaction top of mind because it is people who create, develop, sell, implement. Whatever your business is, people are behind it.” – Sharleen Gutierrez

“In this digital age, we have to remember the human aspects of our culture. And authenticity is a key component of that.” – Sharleen Gutierrez

“Each one of us has to take responsibility for our own actions because how we show up is what cultivates company culture.” – Sharleen Gutierrez

About Sharleen Gutierrez:

Sharleen Gutierrez is a global thought leader on diversity and inclusion, talent management and culture change. She drives meaningful change towards greater fairness, equity and workplace inclusion in gender, race, LGBTQ+, ability and their intersections. She started her career at Goldman Sachs, where she spent 14 years in a variety of roles across the Human Capital Management Division. While at GS, one of her highly recognized achievements was pioneering the award-winning effort focused on women of color (before intersectionality was even a topic of conversation). Sharleen brings a global perspective on diversity, having lived and worked in Japan, and led D&I engagement initiatives in both South America and Europe. Recently, she led a team focused on fairness and equity in Google’s talent processes focused on systemic interventions and accountability measures that decrease gaps and increase parity. Currently, she serves as Google’s Director of REWS Business Enablement Partners. Sharleen was one of Diversity Woman Magazine’s top 50 change agents. In her spare time, she can be found exploring the world with her husband and three children.


LinkedIn: sharleen-gutierrez-7961741

Facebook: sharleen.gutierrez.3

Weekly Insights & Exclusive Content.

Get actionable insights and leadership success strategies delivered to your inbox every week.