Preferences For Female Bosses At All-Time High, But Americans Still Prefer Men In Charge

November 18, 2013  |  

If you’re a woman who’s successfully nabbed a position as head honcho of a company, don’t expect any popular support. A new Gallup poll shows that Americans would much rather have a male boss.

Americans prefer a man to be a top dog over a woman by 35 percent to 23 percent — 41 percent say that it doesn’t matter. The good is news that over the past 60 years, the aversion to female bosses has gradually dropped.

Back in 1953, a whopping 66 percent disapproved the idea of a woman-in-charge — only five percent didn’t mind it. By 1982 and 2000, the preference for male bosses remained relatively stagnant around 47 percent. It wasn’t until 11 years ago when there was a significant shift in America’s desire for female dominance: preferences for men-in-charge dipped 17 percent.  In 2002, only 31 percent wanted a male boss — the lowest in history. By 2013, inclinations toward male managers rose only four percentage points.

“The proportion of Americans who prefer a female boss has increased by 18 percentage points over the past six decades,” Gallup reports, “while there has been a 31-point decline in the percentage who would prefer a male boss.”

Though a 23 percent preference for female head honchos might seem low, it’s the highest percentage Gallup poll has seen in its history.

Gallup adds that those who currently work for women show the highest preferences for female bosses. “If the proportion of U.S. workers who have female bosses increases in the future, the current preference for a male boss in the overall population could dissipate,” it says.

In a peculiar twist in the survey results, Gallup says that more than 50 percent of men said they had no preference in gender for their bosses. Women, however, admitted that they would rather have a male boss over a female boss by an 13-point margin.

To wrap up, 40 percent of Americans are indifferent about whether their boss is a man or woman; those who do care would rather have a male boss — and this has always been the case since 1953. Fortunately, preferences for a woman in charge are at all-time high.

Gallup conducted this year’s poll with a sample of 2,059 Americans, aged 18 and up, throughout all 50 states.

Would you rather have a female or male boss? Why?

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