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Poll shows gender of boss can matter

Published Oct. 8, 2005

Although more than four in 10 Americans say they have no preference regarding their boss' gender, 54 percent of workers would like a choice of whether to work for a man or a woman.

And one-third prefer to work for men rather than women, according to a Gallup poll commissioned by Accountants on Call, a New Jersey-based placement firm for accounting and bookkeeping personnel.

The study found only 17 percent of those participating in the poll would rather have female bosses.

The telephone survey of 671 employed adults, 18 years or older, currently working full or part time, was conducted Aug. 17-25. The margin of error of the survey is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

Employed women are just as likely as men to say they prefer to work for a male boss, the study showed. About 36 percent of the women polled wanted to work with male bosses _ close to the 37 percent preference among men.

"Of the women I've talked to about this survey who prefer to work with men, they said women tend to be more emotional and less logical," said Ed Blust, a spokesman for Accountants on Call. "They said women take things on a very personal level, which causes problems."

Men are more likely than women to have no preference (52 percent to 37 percent), and women are more likely than men to prefer a female boss by a 26 percent to 10 percent margin.

When comparing results from only those who expressed a preference, 58 percent of the women prefer working for men.

Age also played a part in preferences, Blust said. About half of the employed adults age 50 and older said they would prefer to work for men. Only 34 percent of those younger than 50 preferred male bosses.

Employed adults under age 30 are the most likely age group to prefer a female boss.

The first AOC-sponsored Gallup gender preference poll taken in 1988 showed 48 percent of employees wanted the option of choosing the gender of their boss.

Although there was no change in the proportion of those who prefer a male boss, there was an increase in those who prefer to work for females _ 12 percent in 1988 and 17 percent today.