Polls consistently show that women as well as men would prefer to work for male bosses. Why?
Does the old feminist slogan – “Sisterhood is Powerful” — apply to the modern workplace?
Not when it comes to expressing solidarity with a female boss, apparently.
In a new poll, women say they’d rather work for a man than a woman. And it isn’t even close. By a four to one margin, both men and women say they’d prefer to work for a man.
To some it’s a shock, but it’s a remarkably consistent finding, regardless of who does the polling.
Some past surveys have suggested some of the reasons for this apparent “dissing” of female bosses – and they’re not ones that most feminists want to hear.
Reason one, according to several polls? Women tend to be too emotional, and are more likely to be insecure in their leadership role — a view that women and men share equally.
There’s also the belief – sometimes called the “Queen Bee Syndrome” – that female bosses are especially tough on female underlings, if only to dispel charges that they may be practicing gender favoritism. But that means women may struggle for recognition from female bosses even more than men do.
There are some important caveats in these poll findings that may be cause for hope – eventually.
For one thing, most workers don’t actually have a gender preference for a boss – or if they do, they’re not admitting it, perhaps because it’s not considered “PC” to prefer a man over a woman for a job.
In fact, it’s only among those that do have a preference – about a quarter to a third overall — that favoring a male boss is so pronounced.
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Moreover, the percentage that favors a male boss has been declining steadily in recent decades, according to most polls, including ones conducted by Gallup, the nation’s leading independent pollster. .
In the late 1970, before the rise of the women’s movement, nearly two-thirds of all workers preferred a male boss, about double the percentage today.