A narrow majority (55%) now says it has no gender preference for a boss at a new job
At long last, Americans don’t care whether their manager has one or two X chromosomes.
A narrow majority (55%) now says it has no gender preference for a boss at a new job, a first since Gallup began asking the question nearly 65 years ago. Also unprecedented: People who prefer one gender over the other are split almost evenly, with 23% choosing male and 21% choosing female.
Attitudes weren’t always so progressive. Back in 1953, 66% preferred a male boss while just 5% preferred a female one; the proportion of no-preference respondents sat at 25%. But while proportions of female-preferring and apathetic respondents have steadily risen, the percentage of people who prefer men has declined: Today’s 23%, in fact, is down from 2014’s 33%.
Among both women and men, preference for a male boss declined and responses expressing no preference increased since 2014, the last time of measurement. Women — more inclined than men since 1982 to prefer a male boss — now opt for male bosses at a rate of 27%, an all-time low. Twenty-eight percent of women would choose a female boss, while gender made no difference to 44%. Men are 24% more likely than women not to care about gender.
Gallup speculates over the implications of its survey, which was administered earlier this month in the wake of sexual harassment and assault allegations against Harvey Weinstein and many other powerful men. “The public’s current break from its decades-long preference for male bosses could be a sign that recent news events have had an effect,” the report says, “although the shift could have occurred anytime within the past three years since the question was last asked.”
Fifty-two percent of full- or part-time workers in the survey said they had a male boss, while 32% said they worked for a woman. Meanwhile, women continue to be underrepresented in top management gigs: Though Fortune this year announced the 32 female CEOs in the Fortune 500 marked a historic high, their companies made up just 6.4% of the list.
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