Thirty-five percent of Americans prefer a male boss, 23 percent prefer a female boss, and 41 percent don't care.
In today’s employment market, workers rarely get to choose who they work for. But if they had a choice between a male boss or a female boss, more Americans claim they have no preference, according to a new survey from Gallup.
Gallup’s annual Work and Education survey shows that 41 percent of Americans have no preference whether their superior or supervisor at work is a man or a woman. The percentage of “don’t care’’ respondents has dropped 3 percent from 2010, with slight rises in choosing both men and women in that time.
Among those who admit to having a preference, 35 percent want to have a male boss and 23 percent want to have a female boss (the highest percentage answering that way in the history of the survey). But there are specific segments of the population that provide different viewpoints.
Fifty-one percent of men say they have no preference, while 29 percent say they would want a male boss and 18 percent would want a female boss. Among women, 32 percent have no preference, but 40 percent want a male boss and 27 percent want a female boss.
The data indicates that those who have a female boss don’t mind. Thirty-two percent of those currently with a female boss say they would like a new female boss, while 31 percent said they would like to switch. Among those who currently have a male boss, 35 percent want another male boss and only 17 percent want to switch to a female.
Gallup first asked the question in a survey in 1953, when 66 percent preferred a male boss and only 5 percent preferred working for a woman. At that time, only 25 percent of the Americans surveyed said they had no preference.
The survey talked to Americans of all employment sectors, including those who are not employed at the time for the survey.
Politics has an effect on results. While Democrats are evenly split among preferring a male or female boss (32 percent for male, 33 percent for female, 34 percent no preference), 40 percent of Republicans say they prefer a male boss, while just 16 percent say they prefer a female boss.
In its report, Gallup speculates that because people who currently have a female boss are more likely to prefer a new female boss, an increase in females in a position of authority would increase the preference for women in a position of authority.
Kent McDill is a staff writer for Millionaire Corner. McDill spent 30 years as a sports writer, working for United Press International and the Daily Herald of Arlington Heights, Ill. From 1988-1999, he covered the Chicago Bulls for the Daily Herald, traveling with them every day through the nine-month season. He also covered the Bulls for UPI from 1985-88, and currently covers the team for www.nba.com. He has written two books on the Bulls, including the new title “100 Things Bulls Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die’, published by Triumph Books. In August 2013, his new book “100 Things Bears Fans Should Know And Do Before They Die” gets published.
In 2008, he resigned from the Herald and became a freelance writer. The Herald hired him to write business features and speeches for the Daily Herald Business Conferences and Awards presentations.
McDill also writes a monthly parenting column for the Herald’s Suburban Parent magazine.
McDill is the father of four children, and an active fan of soccer, Jimmy Buffett and all things Disney.