Having a work spouse can be greatly beneficial to your career and overall happiness at work, according to research. About 70% of business professionals said they currently have a work spouse now or have had one in the past, according to a recent Office Pulse survey by digital media company Captivate. This is up significantly from 65% in 2010 and 32% in 2006.
And now a new study on West Point cadets published in the Journal of the American Economic Association finds that if you are a woman, having a work wife will help you succeed at work. Looking at data from 1976 to 1984 researchers Nick Huntington-Klein and Elaina Rose found that female cadets were more likely to thrive if they were in groups with other female cadets.
The researchers wrote in The Harvard Business Review, “We found that, when another woman was added to a company, it increased the likelihood a woman would progress from year to year by 2.5%. This means that, on average, an extra two women in a company on top of what it already had would completely erase the five percentage point female/male progression gap. Another way to think about the size of the effect is to consider only first-year cadets, who have the worst attrition rates.
Women in first-year groups with only one other woman only had a 55% chance of sticking around for the next year. But women in the most woman-heavy groups, with 6 to 9 other women, had an 83% chance of continuing to the next year.”
Of course, these findings don’t directly correlate to women working together in the workplace, but the numbers are rather promising.