Being a nice girl would not take you ahead of others in the professional race, for a new study suggests that being aggressive and having a masculine approach is what makes you earn big bucks at workplace.
The academic study has shown that "alpha male" women earn an average of 40,000 pounds more over their lifetime than female colleagues who are "nice".
It was found that personality traits are just as important as intelligence in determining how much people earn in their career.
Scottish businesswoman Michelle Mone, chief executive of the Ultimo lingerie company, agreed that having an assertive manner had aided her success.
Led by Guido Heineck, the study titled 'Does it Pay to be Nice?' also showed that "conscientious" women, who display self-control and persistence, generally earn 5 per cent more than sloppy colleagues.
Heineck, from the Institute for Employment Research in Nuremberg, Germany, said personality traits such as "agreeableness" were not beneficial in the workplace.
"Our statistics show that being nice does not pay for women, whereas working hard does. This is probably, in part, because agreeable people are too passive in conflict situations and poorer in wage negotiations," The Scotsman quoted him as saying.
He added: "Traditionally, women are more passive and likeable at work. This (research] shows that to be successful in the workplace women have to adapt a more alpha male-like behaviour."
The study was presented at a conference at Essex University.