Less Than 25% of Americans Prefer a Female Boss

    November 11, 2013
    Sean Patterson
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Gallup today released information from its annual “Work and Education” survey showing that Americans still prefer to have a male boss.

The pollster’s results show that 35% of Americans in 2013 prefer to work for a man, while only 23% would prefer to have a female boss. That is the highest proportion of Americans that would prefer a female boss that Gallup has seen since it began asking the question. Though the majority of Americans expressed a gender preference for their boss, 41% stated that it wouldn’t make a difference to them.

These results are similar to those seen by Gallup throughout the past decade. They are drastically different, however, from the results seen when Gallup began asking the question in 1953. That year, 66% of those surveyed stated they preferred a male boss, while only 5% would prefer to work for a woman. Just 25% of Americans in 1953 did not have a gender preference for their boss.

Gallup’s survey results have also been broken down by demographics, providing an interesting look at gender preferences in the workplace.

Females seem to be even more adamant in their preference for male bosses, with 40% saying they would prefer a male boss and 27% preferring a female boss. Men have a lower preference for female bosses, with just 18% saying they prefer a female boss to 29% who would prefer a male boss. A majority of men, though, (51%) say they don’t have a preference, while 32% of women say it wouldn’t matter to them.

Politics was another area where the issue had an interesting breakdown. Democrats are fairly even in their boss gender preferences, with 32% preferring a male boss to 33% preferring a female boss. Though a similar percentage (33%) of independents prefer a male boss, only 20% said they would prefer a female boss, with most of them (46%) saying they don’t have a preference. The Republican preference for male bosses was 40%, while the Republican preference for female bosses was just 16%.

  • Interesting

    I have had both male and female bosses. I much rather have an older male boss that is even keeled. The women I worked for were too up and down as bosses. The best bosses I had were over 50. They had perspective. Women also tend to create issues that aren’t there. I don’t know if it is feminism or what, but I have seen this several times. It is like women read articles about how bad they have it and then they look for problems in the workplace. I knew women who were making really good money and who were in positions that if they just were patient, would have landed them in many different executive positions, but they got it in their head that things weren’t happening fast enough and ended up ruining all their opportunities. Those are just my experiences. I am sure other people have different ones.

    I will say this though. I did work with one female executive and she was superb. However, she was older — her late 50s and early 60s. I would work for her again in a heartbeat but she is retired now.

    I would be curious about a study on the age of bosses.

  • IDK

    It all depends on the type of woman that is the boss. I have had “feminist” bosses and they were awful. Always seeing inequality everywhere. They made life hell. However, I had women bosses who were just trying to do a job the best they could. They wanted to just get along with everyone and do a good job and go home happy at night. I knew a girl once who was absolutely wonderful, happy, and had a lot of hopes and dreams. She went to college and was exposed to feminism. She totally changed. She eventually became very angry and very sad. Later in life, she asked my opinion why things went so wrong. I told her that she stopped being who she was and listened to a bunch of people trying to make a quick buck off of telling her who she should be. That happens a lot with women and men too. In the end, I don’t know if it really much matters if a woman or woman is a boss. What makes a successful boss is a person who is positive, who isn’t afraid to do the work of the people they are managing, and someone who communicates well. I will say this though — I can’t stand feminists and chauvinists too. Anyone who is too extreme is not fun to work for.