If you had your druthers, would you prefer to work for a male boss or a female boss? Do you think it makes a difference? Would you care either way?
A new study by Gallup shows that, for the first time, a majority of Americans — 55 percent — say their boss’ gender makes no difference to them. Prior to this year, stretching all the way back to when the poll was created in 1953, most respondents indicated a preference. (By way of comparison, in 2013, 40 percent of respondents said they had no preference, while in in 1953, 66 percent of Americans said they preferred working for a man.)
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Interestingly, and perhaps encouragingly, the most recent poll showed that men are significantly more likely than women to have no strong feelings on the subject, with fully 68 percent of men indicating they did not have any gender preference. On the other hand, less than half of women polled — 44 percent — claimed no preference.
Why the change?
According to Gallup:
“The abrupt shift since 2014 in the percentage of Americans preferring a male boss suggests that the public may be reacting to the seemingly endless stream of sexual harassment allegations against men in workplaces across many industries, from Hollywood to Capitol Hill.”
Or maybe workers have realized that having female managers is actually better for business; a 2016 report by Peterson Institute for International Economics and EY found that having at least 30 percent of women in leadership positions added 6 percent to net profit margins.
On top of that, another Gallup poll found, “workers with female bosses are more engaged than those with male bosses.”
Whatever the reason, opinion on the subject seems to have shifted, with any luck toward a more egalitarian, meritocratic business culture.
Tell Us What You Think
Do you prefer working for a man or a woman? Why? We want to hear from you! Leave a comment or join the discussion on Twitter.