While a good night's sleep and practicing mindfulness may help you power through a work day, science says that when it comes to shattering glass ceilings, your best female friendships could be the real game changer. In fact, more than 75 percent of women who held high-ranking jobs in the office also had female-dominated social circles, or two to three strong female ties, according to a recent study in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.
The study, led by the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University, included more than 700 former graduate students, male and female, who attended a top ranking business school in the United States. All of the participants had accepted a type of leadership position. Researchers then studied three variables of each participant's social circle: its size, gender proportion, and the strength of each social tie.
The findings? Women with larger, female-dominated social circles were 2.5 times more likely to place into leadership positions, compared to women with smaller networks more dominated by men. As for men, the study found that the larger their networks, regardless of gender make-up, the more likely they were to hold high-ranking positions. Women who had similar networks as their male counterparts, however, were more likely to end up with lower-ranking jobs.
Findings also showed that having the "best-connected" people in your network didn't necessarily increase your chances of climbing the leadership ladder. While these ties could help with job searching and negations, the key benefit to having strong female inner circles was the ability to share gender-specific information about the industry.
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