New Gallup research has found that 55% of Americans now say that if they had a new position, and it was up to them to pick a manager, they would have “no preference” in terms of their boss’s gender.
This is a far cry from the first time Gallup posed this question to respondents in 1953. Back then, 66% of Americans wanted to report to a male boss, a tiny 5% favored a female boss, and 25% didn’t mind, either way.
Today, just 23% would rather have a male boss, while 21% would rather have a female one.
Gallup surveyed 1,028 U.S. adults who were at least 18 years old for the latest research.
Here are some of the other findings.
What men want
Gallup found that among men, just 19% currently prefer a male supervisor, 13% would rather have a female supervisor, and 68% don’t mind either way.
Back in 1953, a full 75% of men preferred to have a male manager, only 2% wanted a female one, and 21% didn’t have a preference.
While Gallup points to sexual harassment allegations surrounding Harvey Weinstein and others as a potential reason for the latest findings that people don’t overwhelmingly favor having male bosses anymore (respondents were surveyed in early November), it reports that the change could’ve happened at any time since the question was posed three years ago.
However, this shift in attitudes has been underway for a while. The percentage of U.S. adults preferring a male boss is now 23%, 10 percentage points lower than the last reading in 2014 — but 43 percentage points lower than the initial 1953 reading, Gallup later reported.
What women want
Gallup found that 28% of women currently want a female boss, 27% want a male boss, and 44% don’t mind either way.
Counterintuitively, perhaps, women report a greater preference for male bosses than men do; only 19% of men prefer a male boss. Men are also far more likely to be agnostic on the question than women, with 68% reporting “no preference,” compared to 44% of women.
There is also a generational gap among women, with younger women preferring female bosses, while older women are more divided.