According to a poll from Gallup, forty percent of the women they surveyed say they prefer a male boss, twenty-seven percent prefer a female one, and thirty-two percent have no preference. On the other hand, 29 percent of men polled prefer a male boss, eighteen percent prefer a female one, and fifty-one percent had no preference. Ladies, what's up? Did Katherine Parker scare us that badly?
It's true, things are better than they were in 1953 when only twenty-five percent had no preference to the gender of their boss, but that was in 1953. Is it crazy to think by 2013 that we've made that little progress — or is that how slowly the arc of the workplace gender gap bends?
I know my experience is not everyone's experience, but I've only had rad lady bosses. I've had some good male bosses, too. But I guess that's not the point. The Atlantic raises the point that a lot of our cultural ideas of female bosses are super negative — see: Katharine Parker, Joan on Mad Men, and Meryl Streep in The Devil Wears Prada — and also, our tendencies to sometimes focus extra hard on the gender of successful women — Elizabeth Spiers on Sheryl Sandberg and Marissa Mayer: "Everyone applauds when they shatter that glass ceiling. Then they pick up the shards, and start cutting away."
Maybe the only solution is to have more and more women bosses everywhere — in our lives and in the media — so people are just used to seeing women in positions of power and so when they have negative experiences with a vulva-having boss, it's about that person, and not their gender.
Image via james weston/Shutterstock.