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Study: Having a close group of girlfriends may advance your career

Written on Feb 6, 2019

Having a tight-knit network of friends may help you get ahead at work, according to new research.

A study conducted by the University of Notre Dame and Northwestern University found that women who communicate regularly with other female friends are more likely to land a higher leadership position at their jobs. The study, titled “A network’s gender composition and communication pattern predict women’s leadership success,” was published in the journal Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Researchers examined the social and communication networks of more than 700 graduates of a top-ranking business school program who had accepted leadership positions at their workplace. They found that 75% of the women had close female-centric friend groups, with two or three friends in particular that they communicated with often.

Men in the study were found to have leadership positions at work when they had larger friend networks consisting of any gender. However, this did not hold true for women—they were found less likely to get higher ranking jobs when they had similar networks.

The study also found that the women with the close and female-centric inner circles had a job placement level about 2.5 times higher than those with larger and male-centric inner circles. The authors believe it could be due to the support women in the smaller and closer groups give each other.