Researchers at the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University analysed the social circles of 700 former graduate students of both genders, who had all attended a top tier business school and currently held a leadership position. In particular, they were looking for consistencies in size, gender proportion and the strength of each connection.
Curiously, they found that more than 75 per cent of women who held high-ranking roles in the office had predominately same-sex friendship groups and just two to three besties.
On the other hand, men with larger networks (regardless of what gender) were more likely to have climbed the corporate ladder.
The findings also showed that having the ‘best-connected’ people as mates, didn’t necessarily influence the participants’ standing at work - although it did help with job searching and negotiations.
“Although both genders benefit from developing large social networks after graduate school, women’s communication patterns, as well as the gender composition of their network, significantly predict their job placement level,” Nitesh V. Chawla, co-author of the study explained in a statement.
“We also saw that inner circles benefit from each other, suggesting that women gain gender-specific private information and support from their inner circle, while non-overlapping connections provide other job market details.”