It has long been noted that women in STEM fields have poor quality networks compared to men. In this article, we question whether the network deficits women face are insurmountable, and investigate a pathway through which women can ‘catch up’, or even surpass men in network quality. Using data on over 3500 scientists over a twenty year period, we study the influence of scientific productivity on the status of scientists’ network affiliates on teams. We find that all scientists have greater access to high status affiliates as their productivity improves, but that women receive comparatively greater gains to their networks from productivity than men. We end with a discussion on how these findings shed light on policies and practice that can help women enhance their social resources in STEM professions.