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Although the work place has changed beyond recognition with both men and women holding positions today not traditionally associated with their gender, research has found that getting a high-powered job is not enough, you also have to keep it.

According to Victoria Brescoll, an assistant professor of organisational behaviour at Yale School of Management, those in high-profile roles not normally associated with their gender - such as a woman holding the job of chief of police - will come under much closer scrutiny and be judged far more harshly if they make a mistake than if they were in a role more traditionally associated with their gender.

Prof Brescoll, with her co-authors Erica Dawson and Eric Luis Uhlmann questioned 200 people about non-stereotypical gender roles. They discovered that the volunteers judged these individuals far more harshly, viewing them as less competent and having less status. Any mistakes - even minor transgressions - were magnified and viewed as much greater errors.

Prof Brescoll describes this effect as the glass cliff. “You don’t really know, when you’re a woman in a high status leadership role, how long you’re going to hang onto it. You might just fall off at any point.”

Such a scenario adds the professor can happen to women in high-powered male roles.

The article, “Hard won and easily lost: the fragile status of leaders in gender-stereotype-incongruent occupations is published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

The old adage we are all familiar with - it is not what you know but who you know, would it seems have more than a grain of truth in it.

Lauren Cohen and Christopher Malloy, professors at Harvard Business School have discovered that when it comes to the voting behaviour of US politicians, personal connections among these politicians carries considerable weight and reliably influences how they will vote on pending legislation.

In a National Bureau of Economic Research working paper, the authors looked at congressional voting from 1989 to 2008. They have discovered that not only alumni connections - graduating from the same university - but seat locations as well - who sits near whom - are “consistent predictions of voting behaviour”.

The writers have also found that social links between politicians and executives of companies based in their home states also have an affect on how Congress members vote.

The paper was published was in October.

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