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Who’s the boss? Majority of Americans (finally) don’t care if their boss is a man or a woman

Jana Kasperkevic Nov 17, 2017
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(L to R) Jeff Bezos, chief executive officer of Amazon, Larry Page, chief executive officer of Alphabet Inc. (parent company of Google), Sheryl Sandberg, chief operating officer of Facebook, Vice President Mike Pence listen as President Donald Trump speaks during a meeting of technology executives at Trump Tower on December 2016 in New York City.
Drew Angerer/Getty Images

It’s 2017 and for the first time ever, the majority of Americans no longer prefer a male boss to a female boss, according to a new Gallup survey of 1,028 adults. When asked, 55 percent said it did not matter to them if their manager was male or female. That’s up from 46 percent in 2014.

Interestingly enough, women are more likely to have a preference than men and up till this year that preference used to be for a male boss.

“Since 1982, women have consistently been more likely than men to say they prefer a male boss,” Megan Brenan, from Gallup wrote in a blog post announcing the results. She pointed out that this year’s survey was conducted from November 2 to 8 — after multiple women and men had accused powerful men like Harvey Weinstein and Kevin Spacey of sexual harassment and assault.

This year, a historically low 27 percent of women said they would prefer a male boss —  a 12-point drop from 2014 when 39 percent of them preferred a male boss. Just one percent more —  28 percent —  of women prefer a female boss while the remaining 44 percent of women have no preference.

As for men, more than two thirds of them —  at 68 percent —  have no preference about the gender of their boss, 19 percent prefer a male boss and 13 percent prefer a female boss.

While a preference for a male boss may be a thing of the past, women are still not equally represented at the top. One of the reasons that women have struggled to climb the corporate ladder is because they are often not promoted into management roles in the first place. 

In October, there were 255.7 million people in the labor force — 123.6 million men and 132 million women. And while women make up about 51 percent of the labor force, last year fewer than 40 percent of all managers were women, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Looking up higher at the corporate structure, women make up just 5.4 percent of Fortune 500 CEOs and 20.2 percent of Fortune 500 board members.

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