A North Carolina State University study disproves the adage “It’s not what you know, it’s who you know,” at least for women. Researchers found that when it comes to using social networking to get a job, the tactic is only successful for men.

Researchers looked at a national database of more than 12,000 people and found that men with specialized work experience were 12 percent more likely to find a job through social contacts than they were through standard job searches. The women surveyed, however, were no more likely to be recruited informally though social networking than through some official means.

In a press release, Steve McDonald, author of a paper describing the study, said the results suggest a lack of “useful social connections” also might play a factor in women generally receiving lower wages than men.

“This gender disparity is especially problematic for women who are vying for high-wage, managerial jobs – because these positions are often filled through the informal recruiting process that appears to favor men. ‘As a result,’ McDonald says, ‘the more that can be done to institute formal hiring practices, the closer we will be to an equitable job market. We need to learn more about exactly why women don’t get the same benefits from their social connections that men do … But right now, we just don’t have the long-term data we need on these social networks to fully understand this phenomenon.’”

Currently, women in the United States are paid approximately 77 cents to the dollar in comparison with men.