Look, if Taylor Swift has one it's good enough for me. A squad. You heard me. Squad, girl gang, the galz — whatever you wanna call it, you know that your BFFs are the key to your happiness. But huge news guys, research has shown that they may actually be helping you with a lot more than that. Your girl group might actually be the key to glory, and the damn bank, because recent research has shown that women who communicate regularly with a female-dominated inner circle are more likely to succeed.
Yes, the #squadgoals effect is real, and y'all it looks like it might also be a bit of an essential part of succeeding in a world that often sees the odds stacked against women. A study by Northwestern University and the University of Notre Dame over in the U.S. found the gender make-up of women's friendship groups and the frequency with which they communicated was a good predictor of their career success. The results showed that, "More than 75 percent of high-ranking women maintained a female-dominated inner circle, or strong ties to two or three women whom they communicated with frequently within their network".
With men included in the results, the survey found having a larger network, no matter the gender involved, increased an individual's likelihood of succeeding in their chosen field. Right so, looks like there is strength in numbers gals.
Nitesh V. Chawla and Frank M. Freimann are co-authors of the study and found the evidence is pretty compelling that, when it comes to succeeding as a female, supporting each other is the way to go.
"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," he said in a statement.
The study's 700 participants were graduates of top ranked U.S. business schools who had accepted leadership-level positions since graduating. The research was focused on three different factors.
- The size of their social network
- The proportion of same-sex contacts
- The amount of strong versus weak network ties
All this considered, the results showed that women with a stronger, female focussed network were more likely to get ahead in their career. In fact, two and a half times more likely than their peers in a more male dominated circle.
Succeeding in your career if you're a woman is just that little bit more of an uphill battle than if you're a man. Especially as women who succeed are often portrayed as being super negative and unpleasant. Difficult. Shrill. Shrieky. Cold. And the saddest thing is that often it's easy for us women to accidentally fall into this trap and talk crap about each other. And for what? Look at this evidence that actually shows together we are stronger and a force to be reckoned with. Ever wonder who might be negging out such an idea? Cough patriarchy cough cough.
More women need and deserve to be in leadership roles. To quote one of the great feminist icons of our time, Ruth Bader Ginsberg
"Women belong in all places where decisions are being made... It shouldn't be that women are the exception."
So look around you. What is your circle like? Sure you might have plenty of female friends but are y'all supporting each other enough? There is strength in numbers, and women supporting women is when magic happens.