When Cal State Fullerton Mihaylo College’s Assistant Professor of Economics Nicholas Huntington-Klein went to study the impact of fellow women on female progress and achievement in professional and academic settings, he turned to a less than typical data set – yearbooks from the U.S. Military Academy in West Point.
Looking at the decade after the prestigious New York academy began accepting women cadets in 1976, Huntington-Klein and his counterpart at the University of Washington, Elaina Rose, examined whether the presence of fellow women propelled female cadets to advancement.
Examining the classes of 1981 through 1984, Huntington-Klein and Rose discovered that the progression gap between men and women was cut in nearly half when another woman cadet was in the company and eliminated altogether with the presence of two other females.
Concluding that having female peers is essential to the success of women attempting to progress in historically male-dominated spaces, the study, recently published in the Harvard Business Review, has possible implications for other professional and scholastic settings as women advance in leadership roles.
Continue reading about the study, its implications and limitations, in this CSUF News article.