Women boast many valuable traits that differ from our male counterparts: Typically we’re more relational, able to multitask more efficiently, and show empathy. Yet a team of researchers at M.I.T., Carnegie Mellon, and Union College, found the secret to smart groups is–wait for it–women.

Researchers found then when “smart groups” teamed up in the workplace, the most important factor wasn’t that every person in the group have an I.Q. like Margaret Thatcher (Oh, but we wish we did).  It was their "average social sensitivity." That is, as The Atlantic piece on the research describes it, “the best groups were also the best at reading the non-verbal cues of their teammates. And, since women score higher on this metric of emotional intelligence, teams with more women tended to be better teams.” The research even found women are just as good at this kind of mind-reading whether the communications are face to face, via text message, or other social media.

So what they’re saying is, political prowess was to Margaret Thatcher as social sensitivity is to women and it translates just as well at home as it does in the workforce. That’s why when your teen rolls his eyes, your spouse does that thing with his lips, or your boss exhales a little too loudly, you know exactly what that means because you can read the body language and decipher with some accuracy what that person is thinking.

This is not only good for the reputation of women in the workplace in general–at the least it might confirm your own intuition on the matter; at best, it might encourage some of the guys at work to listen to everybody at the weekly meeting–but research like this may also help reverse or steer the gender wage gap in the right direction. Finally.

We here at IWF aren’t big fans of the gender wage gap myth. Last spring we released a press release responding to the White House’s concession that the 77-cent wage gap statistic is a myth. Economists have found, and we’ve made it our mission, to debunk the notion that men and women don’t receive equal pay for equal work. Statistics simply show–as we highlighted in this straightforward video— that more women choose to work in fields that pay less, like social workers versus men, who typically work in higher-paying fields, like engineers. In fact, college-educated women in urban areas out-earn their male counterparts. In addition, women tend to leave the workplace to raise children and then return again, leaving a gap of time where their progress and pay remain temporarily stagnant–few men do that. Women are already earning more degrees in higher education (including Master’s and Ph.D’s) than men. We’re learning more, not just in pursuit of knowledge, but in hopes to contribute more financially to our family’s stability.

In short: Women's choices ultimately determine how much they earn and how government intervention in the workplace can backfire on women.If we take these findings at face value, between a more advanced degree in the appropriate field (or work experience), and the ability to discern what people are thinking, women are a proven asset to the workforce. And research like this is another chink in the armor of the gender wage gap.