Are Men Actually Better Bosses?


Are Men Actually Better Bosses?


A few days ago I published an article highlighting a recent Gallup survey.  The survey reported that women, well actually all employees, prefer male bosses. Gallup collected responses from 1,032 adults in the U.S. and 39 percent of women wanted to be managed by a man, compared with 26 percent of men.


What’s shocking is that in the 60 years that Gallup has conducted this survey, women have never preferred a female boss.


What makes us want to work for a man?


I’ve thought back through my own career experiences and I’ve worked for far more men than women. I can state that my worst boss was a male and my best boss was a male. It had nothing to do with gender, simply the characteristics they exhibited and the level of integrity that identified them.


So, what’s the real deal? Is it just anecdotal that male bosses are perceived to be better at their jobs?


A study published in the journal, Psychological Science,concluded that women tend to form a negative view of other women to include friends, co-workers, and, of course, bosses more quickly than men do of other men.


A 2008 studypublished in the British Journal of Management also showed that females are more likely to reject female bosses who behave in a traditionally managerial way — like a man — but when the manager is a man, it’s not an issue.


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What’s really going on here?


Are we somehow perpetuating the idea that there is something different about working for a man compared to working for a woman? Bad experiences come in all shapes and sizes but when it leads to sweeping generalizations, you are missing the larger picture.


Where do these stereotypes come from?


In 2010, CNN, published an article from Author BJ Gallagher, on How to Tell a Male Boss from a Female Boss.


Here’s the difference:


— A male boss is aggressive; a female boss is pushy.


— A male boss is attentive to details; a female boss is picky.


— He knows how to follow through; she doesn’t know when to quit.


— He’s ambitious; she’s driven.


— He loses his temper occasionally; she can’t control her emotions.


— He isn’t afraid to say what he thinks; she’s mouthy.


— He’s a man of action; she’s impulsive.


— He controls his emotions; she’s cold.


— He thinks before he acts; she can’t make up her mind.


— He thinks before he speaks; she second-guesses herself.


— He tells it like it is; she’s tactless.


Is it really just perception as the article above shows us? The best thing we can do as professionals is to not believe the stereotypes society has collected about women. Human nature tells us that some women are going to be horrible bosses but it’s because not all people are great bosses and not because she is female.


No one thing is true of all women just like no one thing is true about all men. Gender has nothing to do with how capable a person is at doing his or her job.


I’m stepping down from my soap box on this Monday morning and I’m stepping into my listening arena. It’s your turn.




I really want to hear from all of you on this one. I learn best from understanding what is really going on. What do you think? Do you have a preference for a boss? Does gender matter?


Why do you think that people prefer male bosses?



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