Male Bosses Are Still More Popular Than Female Bosses, But There's Also Some Good News, Too
It seems that there's more to the whole glass ceiling phenomenon than just people not wanting to promote the women working under them; apparently people at the bottom aren't wild about having female bosses either. In fact, according to a Gallup poll, 33 percent of people prefer a male boss. Which probably makes life difficult for any women put in charge of such annoying people.
Still, the news isn't all bad. True, a disproportionate number of people seem to prefer a male boss to a female boss (33 percent versus 20 percent), but the most common response to Gallup's survey was that most people didn't have a gender preference when it comes to who there boss is at all. Almost half of all people (46 percent) stated they didn't care what gender their boss was, even though Gallup didn't even explicitly offer that as an option.
And of all the possible answers, that one is probably the best, because who cares if your boss is a man or a woman just so long as they're a good boss. In reality, women can be good or bad as managers, just like men can. It's nice to see people volunteering the "no preference" answer so often. Way to go, guys!
Interestingly, though, the slant towards having a male boss rather than a female boss is present in both men and women, according to this poll, with 39 percent of women opting for a male boss and 25 percent opting for a female boss. (Women were also less likely to say they had no preference.) So do women just not like each other? Or is it that we've all been brainwashed by the pervasiveness of the Smurfette Principle to think that there can only be one successful woman around at any given time? (See Star Trek, The Avengers, Inception, Fight Club, and most every other movie not exclusively marketed to women.)
Well, whatever the reasoning, it seems that things have slowly but surely been getting better over the past few decades. Back when Gallup first asked the question in 1953, 66 percent of people said they'd prefer a male boss while just 5 percent went for the female option. Over time, the percentages of people opting for either a woman in charge or stating they have no preference have both increased, while the number of people who prefer a male boss has become more proportional. So even though things aren't perfect, they are improving. Take your victories where you can get them, I guess.