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Support System = Success

Support System = Success

The stats on the advancement of women in business can get pretty depressing: the number of female CEOs is declining, the gender pay gaps are barely moving. Some days (and particularly February days — ugh, February), it can all feel a little much.

And then comes along some new research that feels like it shows us a way forward. One that doesn’t involve our waiting for CEOs to wake up and decide that — darn it — diversity is the smart business thingto do and that — hoo boy — having a gender pay gap is actually corrosive to their company!

The research, from the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, is all about networks and how we use them. For men, assuming all other things are equal, the key is having a strong network.


For women, the key is having a strong network AND a close inner circle of other professional women. And that can be as few as two or three other women.

The result is powerful: 75% of high-ranking women in the study had strong ties to an inner circle of women.

Yes. Yes. Yes. Yes. This.

These women provide each other with a support system, share information specific to their gender (because the business challenges are different by gender), and introduce each other to other women in each of their networks. If they work together, they can talk each other up (the way our brothers learned to ages ago); they can look around corners for each other; they can coach each other.

OK, I’m sold.

Women make up 47% of the workforce. By coming together — not by competing with each other, as the last generation was taught to, and not by going it alone — that’s how we change the workplace to work better for us.


You can learn more here.


Have more questions? Follow up with the expert herself.


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