Women who support women are more successful, research shows
Research has shown that women benefit from mutual support and cooperation from other women in the workplace - to the extent that it can impact their success to a phenomenal degree.
In fact, according to a study published by the Harvard Business Review, women who have a group of close female contacts in their professional lives are more likely to secure executive roles, exercise greater authority, and receive higher pay rises.
On the other hand, the study found no correlation between men's success and the forging of an inner circle of close male colleagues.
Find out why Indra Nooyi, Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo, believes women don't help women enough in the workplace:
According to the study, women who are trying to pursue an executive position at work often face "cultural and political hurdles" that their male counterparts typically don't.
And so, female employees who share private information about gender-related matters in the workplace such as a company's attitude towards female leaders are more likely to succeed.
Doing so could help strengthen "women’s job search, interviewing, and negotiation strategies," the paper states.
"While men had inner circles in their networks too - contacts that they communicated with most - we found that the gender composition of males' inner circles was not related to job placement," the study's author adds.
"There’s a new girls’ club that we didn’t have before because the workplace was largely male-dominated," says Jocelyn Greenky, an office culture and politics expert and CEO of Sider Road. "Now that so many more women are entering the workplace, we’re finding our voice. We’re also building circles of trust with one another because we may be experiencing similar hurdles, and have each other’s backs."
Furthermore, the research states that female employees who were "in the top quartile of centrality", and had a female-dominated inner circle of 1-3 women, secured executive positions which were 2.5 times higher in authority and pay than women who did not have such a close circle of female friends.
Laura McGee, CEO of Diversio, which aids companies in overcoming diversity issues using artificial intelligence, says:
"Across all our companies in multiple sectors and countries, we see access to networks as one of the key barriers preventing women from advancing. We know that women are under-sponsored by senior men, and may need to compensate by developing strong professional relationships with other women. My hypothesis on the research findings is that these women are effectively acting as mentors and sponsors for one another."