Female bosses

Whenever we run an event at womenintechnology, we always ask the women (and the few men!) who sign up, a few questions – and they never disappoint. We always get interesting statistics, quotes and anecdotes to share, so we thought we’d create a poll here on our blog. Once again our network didn’t let us down and we got some great information!

We asked a simple question – do you prefer a male or female boss? With all the stories about female on female bullying and the lack of women in leadership positions, I thought this was a very relevant question. The result? Almost half (44%) said they preferred a male boss. So does that mean the majority preferred a female boss? No. 38% said they had no preference and just 19% favoured women.

However I wasn’t at all surprised about this because we’ve heard this before – see our previous blog post on women vs women. It seems that when it comes to supporting other women, we’re just not very good at it. Or do we just need to give more women the opportunity to have these positions of leadership?

So we have the stats but we’d love to hear the thoughts behind them – why do you prefer men as bosses? What experiences have you had with female bosses? And what do you think about these results? Please leave your comments below!

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7 Responses to “Female bosses”

  1. cherrykitten Says:

    Once I was talking with my boss as to why they prefer hiring women and he told me that today fair sex is more dedicated, willing to do a career, ready for overtime job. But I believe that the reason why most of people prefer male bosses is simply prejudices, nothing more.

  2. Roger George Says:

    My favourite three bosses – and those under whom I was most productive – were all women. Having said that, my least favourite boss was also a woman, so no simple correlation available! But as the question sets up a broadbrush answer, I’d say that those woman bosses I had were very capable at drawing out experience and positive energy rather than the typical male command and control model. They also had a far healthier attitude to supporting a balance between work and private life, before it became a trendy recruiting slogan..

  3. belinda Says:

    Very interesting debate Maggie. My experience is that men have a very different management style that is not conductive to how women are motivated. Its very much about oneupmanship and the ‘stick’ is often used. Great female bosses tend to motivate other women by praise and support-the ‘carrot.’ This propels women onto bigger and better things and gives them confidence.

    It’s about time men realise that the way to manage women is not the same as they motivate men.

  4. Maggie Berry Says:

    Thanks for all your comments! Roger that’s interesting that both your best and worst boss were female! If women bosses are more motivational and positive than men why do so few people prefer them? Do you think too many women are adopting male leadership styles which just don’t work for them?

  5. Scar Says:

    I definitely prefer a male boss. Having said that, there are exceptions to every rule. I have a female boss for one of my jobs at the moment who is absolutely fantastic, and who I wouldn’t want to change for the world. I have another female boss, however, who is a shrieking, fussy, panicky, hormonal nightmare. And my experience in the workplace has unfortunately been that the majority of my female bosses have veered more towards the panicky, fussing, not-at-all-businesslike side of things.

    Having said that, like I’ve already mentioned, I don’t for a minute believe that *all* women are like that; women can make excellent bosses, and one of my current ones is a case in point. But if given a blind choice, I’d ask for a man.

  6. Alconcalcia Says:

    I always preferred a good boss. Didn’t matter what sex they were.

  7. Rachel Armitage Says:

    Working in technology I am sorry to say that all of my bosses have been male to date. I’ve experienced a complete mixture of management styles, some far more effective than others. I tried to learn from each experience, and now I’m more of my own boss, to put the best lessons into practice. A little over a year ago I co-founded Zoombu, a travel search engine which helps people to find the best end-to-end route to travel from their home to their destination. We now have a team of four (and growing) and I’m very aware of setting good management foundations from the beginning, regardless of gender.


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