In the quest for workplace gender equality, women are not their own best advocates.
Forty percent of women would prefer to have a male boss, according to a new report from Gallup. That's far more than the 29% of men who prefer a male boss, and matched only by the preference for a male leader expressed by members of the Republican party (40%).
Women are also slightly more likely than men to express a preference for a female boss — 27% as opposed to 18% — but that figure doesn't erase the fact that a plurality of women still opt for male leadership. A majority of men, on the other hand, say they don't care what gender their boss is.
According to Derek Thompson at the Atlantic, women preferring to work for men isn't a novel or unusual finding. He notes that two recent UK surveys also found that women would rather work for male bosses, because men are considered to be more relatable and personable in positions of power.
If all of this seems less-than-promising for female bosses and leaders, don't despair. The overall 23% of Americans that say they'd prefer a female boss is the highest in history, and nearly five times the amount that answered that way when Gallup first asked about gender preferences in 1953. What's more, Gallup observes that people who currently work for a woman are more likely to express a preference for a female boss.
Here's a chart that shows how preference for female and male bosses has evolved since the 1950s:
And here's a chart that breaks down Americans' preferences for male and female bosses by a range of demographic factors. In addition to the gender of employees, Gallup also looked at how education level, age, and party affiliation affects preferences. Respondents with less education also tended to prefer male bosses.
Data from Gallup
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