the old boy network

(redirected from old-boy networks)

the old boy network

A network of privileged men who are members of the same organizations and institutions and who assist each other in professional advancement. When you graduate from Yale, you're not only getting a degree, but a priceless entry into the old-boy network.
See also: boy, network, old
Farlex Dictionary of Idioms. © 2015 Farlex, Inc, all rights reserved.

the old boy network

BRITISH
The old boy network is the system of contacts made by men at private schools, universities or clubs, which they use to help each other. The majority obtained their positions through the old boy network. Note: This expression is used to show that you do not think that this sort of system is fair.
See also: boy, network, old
Collins COBUILD Idioms Dictionary, 3rd ed. © HarperCollins Publishers 2012

the old boy network

mutual assistance, especially preferment in employment, shown among those with a shared social and educational background.
See also: boy, network, old
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

the ˌold ˈboy network

(British English, informal) the practice of men who went to the same school using their influence to help each other at work or socially
See also: boy, network, old
Farlex Partner Idioms Dictionary © Farlex 2017

old-boy network, the

Social contacts among a group of insiders who help one another advance. The term old boy, originally British, refers specifically to a former pupil at one’s own public school, signifying a common background (upper-class male) and therefore a mutually beneficial interest. Although the practice of fellow alumni helping one another is much older, network was added only in the mid-twentieth century, when the idea began to be transferred to members of a social club, professional organization, business corporation, and other groups. Long an exclusively male province, it came under vigorous attack from about 1970 on by women who maintained it gave men an unfair advantage in the workplace.
The Dictionary of Clichés by Christine Ammer Copyright © 2013 by Christine Ammer
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