Female workers: we want a man to lead the way

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A new survey has found that negative gender stereotypes are still affecting the way female leaders are perceived – and it appears women are actually more inclined to be biased than men.

The survey, conducted by Gallup, revealed that 39 per cent of female workers would rather by led by a man – but just 26 per cent of men said they’d prefer to be led be another man.

Men, it seems, are much less impartial to women and that majority – 58 per cent – said they didn’t care about the gender of their boss. In contrast, just 34 per cent of women said they have no preference.
On the flip side, out the 1,032 employees who participated in the survey, just 20 per cent said they’d prefer a female boss over a male one.

Gallup has asked workers the same question – “If you were taking a new job and had your choice of a boss, would you prefer to work for a man or woman?” – every year for the last 60 years and not once have women respondents indicated a preference for female leaders.

However, there are some silver linings among the somewhat disappointing data.

Not only has support for female management increased over the years – from both men and women – but workers who are currently led by a female boss are more likely to opt to be led by a woman compared to those with a male boss.

The data indicates that once an employee has been led by a woman, they’re more likely to abandon predisposed opinions.

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  • Wayne Forster on 2015-02-26 12:03:29 PM

    Is it a bias, or it is based on their experiences with female bosses?

  • Happy Former Employee on 2015-02-27 10:07:02 AM

    My experience with a female boss was that she would step on anyone to get ahead including me. Was not trust worthy both professionally and personally and only those in very senior positions liked her. She also had a poor sense of judgment when it came to her team and seemed to put people with degrees and designations on a pedestal.

  • Tina on 2015-03-09 10:29:39 AM

    Interestingly I believe that this reality has to do with the fact that many woman managers forget how hard it was for them to get there and maybe thats why we prefer male managers.
    But ideally I think it should be more about the skills and abilities of the mananger and not the gender of the boss. For bad and good managers can be from either gender so we should not let bad experiences cloud our judgement. Remember we have seen much less women in this position and even lesser as we go up the ladder for the majority have been males I think the bias has to do with what we have come to believe and expect.
    Why not try telling these managers how we feel instead of just blaming them. If they don't know they can't change or be accountable. There are good and bad managers in all careers. Change in biases comes from knowledge and awareness, so if you do not like how someone behaves say something and let them know. Maybe they will change.

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