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The Power of Female Friendships

It is no secret that being a woman presents several obstacles, unrealistic standards, underestimation, and countless other hurdles. In a world where we are taught to see other women as competition, we must counter social norms and lift each other up by forging meaningful and genuine friendships. Often overlooked, strong female friendships are essential for helping women progress emotionally, professionally, and socially. 

The physical benefit of female friendships

The connection from one woman to another is a bond unlike any other. Whether it is mother-daughter, sister-sister, friend-friend, or grandmother-grandaughter, these relationships all teach us about ourselves and others in a way that cannot be replicated. These relationships provide us with more than just a friend to hang out with, think about a time that you have learned something from another female, whether it is a friend or role model. In addition to the simple joy female friendships provide, they are also emotionally and physically healing. A UCLA study found that social interactions between women can release serotonin and oxytocin, leading to mood boosts and more positive behavior. This can also reduce stress whereas, in contrast, more isolated women tend to have worsened immune systems and a higher risk of depression.

The professional benefit of female friendships

The importance of female friendships stretches further than just our personal growth. A Harvard Business Review article found that while men in the top quartile of their MBA class tend to have the most success, women need more than just high performance. The study found that women who had a close inner circle of 1-3 female friends ended up in positions of 2.5 times the authority of their counterparts with identical academic standing. In contrast, when the study was done on men, it was found that the gender composition of their circles has no impact on professional success. This is because women with close female bonds, especially those in male-dominated professions, tend to share contacts and uplift one another in private. In a world where a woman’s abilities are often overlooked, it is essential that we find ways to promote mutual success, rather than viewing other women as competition.

Works Cited

“How Female Friendships Improve Our Mental Health.” Inside Columbia, Accessed 30 June 2024.

“6 Reasons Why Female Friendships are Crucial for Girls' Advocacy.” Global G.L.O.W., 4 August 2023, Accessed 30 June 2024.

Uzzi, Brian. “Research: Men and Women Need Different Kinds of Networks to Succeed.” Harvard Business Review, 25 February 2019, Accessed 30 June 2024.

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