Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Booze Your Way to Business Success

Here's an interesting stat from the latest issue of Women's Health magazine:

Women who belly up to the bar make 14 percent more money than women who don't.

A survey of 6,050 full-time workers found that the mean annual income for female drinkers was $17,216 vs. $13,982 for those who did not drink. Neither of those sounds all that great, so I wonder what kind of workers they surveyed.
The author of the study thought the reason for the difference was that "social drinkers have bigger social networks... and the more people you know, the more likely you are to find a better job or new clients."

I happened to read this item at a point when I had been thinking about my own spending on alcohol. In January 2006, I did a contest on this site where readers were invited to guess how much I spent on liquor-- the answer was about $1,006 for 2005-- $754 in my Dining:Liquor category, which is mostly bottles of wine purchased at a liquor store, plus an estimated additional amount for drinks in restaurants that were lumped into the Dining:Dinner category. How much did I spend in 2006? $1,059 in Dining:Liquor, plus maybe another $200 or so in restaurants.
This is one instance where understanding your finances can lead to understanding other things about your life-- it's probably not a good thing that I increased my drinking by 25%, for health reasons as well as financial ones! (And it was definitely an increase in consumption, not in the price range of what I was drinking.) I guess all that condo-buying/homelessness stress took its toll on me!! Anyway, cutting back on the sauce a bit is now one of my resolutions for the coming year. I just hope this doesn't mean my career will start heading downhill!


Anonymous said...

well I'm not much of a drinker...i still like Arbor mist or wine coolers and I buy them on occasions...this study doesn't include

Anonymous said...

I wonder if the survey didn't have the cause and effect reversed. It may be that more of the lower-paid women couldn't afford to drink. Still, I know plenty of anecdotal evidence supporting the networking idea..

Anonymous said...

There may be other behavioral aspects that cloud the correlation/causation puzzle. While in the hard-charging, and highly compensated, world of investment banking I did observe that many men and women enjoyed their drink. People maintained their professionalism at client dinners and such, but did cut loose at company parties and outings. Is it that such type A people need to show they can handle their liquor or is it just a means of stress relief? Now that I am in the much more sedate world of non-profits, where people do not make that much money, I notice that many do not drink at all, and those that do are generally teetotallers. Why is this?

Anonymous said...

I'd like to know how the "winning" group could affort alcohol on those salaries. Not a living wage in these parts.

Anonymous said...

I would agree that the alcohol probably correlates to socialization, which is why those women make more.

My booze bill is definitely up this year over last, mostly because I am making an effort to hang out more with my friend here before we have to move in a couple months. I shall call it "social maximization"!! :)