Research: Men and Women Need Different Kinds of Networks to Succeed

From Harvard Business Review authored by Brian Uzzi:

“We know that social networks are critical to professional advancement. We also know that men are more likely to rise to leadership positions.

This makes one wonder: Is there a difference between the networks of successful male and female leaders?

Recent research I conducted with collaborators Yang Yang and Nitesh V. Chawla suggests there is. We studied what types of networks helped new male and female MBAs land executive leadership positions. We found that men benefit not so much from size of network but from being central in the MBA student network—or connected to multiple “hubs”, or people who have a lot of contacts across different groups of students.

Women benefited in terms of post-MBA job placement from being central in the network too; but to achieve the executive positions with the highest levels of authority and pay they also had to have an inner circle of close female contacts, despite having similar qualifications to men including education and work experience.

Why the difference?”

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