WOMEN
06/19/2013 05:23 pm ET

Women In Sports More Likely To Become High-Level Executives, Study Finds

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Are girls who play team sports more likely to end up in C-suite positions?

Apparently so.

This week, accounting firm Ernst & Young released the results of a survey taken by over 800 executives at American companies with an annual revenue of over $250 million. They found that 96 percent of women in a C-suite position had played team sports growing up -- 55 percent at a university level. Furthermore, 72 percent of women surveyed agreed that women with a sports background worked more effectively in teams than those without.

“Not only do the majority of senior women executives have sports in their background, they recognize that the behaviors and techniques learned through sports are critical to motivating teams and improving performance in a corporate environment,” Ernst & Young's global vice chairwoman of public policy Beth Brooke said in a press release.

Plenty of research has already shown that team sports are good for girls. Data from 2002 reveals that teenage girls who exercise or play a team sport are less likely to be involved in violent confrontations or carry a weapon. Young women who play a team sport are less likely to become pregnant as teenagers and may have higher self-esteem.

The new data suggests that athletics' positive effects last even longer than we thought.

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