Workers have preference for a male boss

Scientific evidence platform Scientific controversy Workers have preference for a male boss
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After carrying out scientific research, I found three articles justifying the assertion of the subject.

The first article states: “women are less satisfied with their jobs when they have a female boss. Male job satisfaction, by contrast, is unaffected.” Artz, B., & Taengnoi, S. (2016).

In another after conducting a survey, the result was as follows: “respondents who had a preference preferred to work for a man more than a woman” Powell, G. N., & Butterfield, D. A. (2015). “Overall, these results suggest that the preference to work for a man or a woman is a matter of both sex and gender.” Powell, G. N., & Butterfield, D. A. (2015).

Finally, in the third article the results were as follows: “A small majority (54%) of participants claimed to have no preference for the gender of their boss, but the remaining participants reported preferring male over female bosses” Elsesser, K. M., & Lever, J. (2011).

We can therefore conclude that, even though we are fighting against gender inequalities, in the workplace it is shown that, as far as leader preference is concerned, workers prefer a male boss in most cases.


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In order to understand better why these statements are true or not it has to be shown that the evidences established that people traditionally preferred having a man boss because this is the idea which is created in their mind, as it’s explained in the theory of sex-based selection (Perry et al.,1994), due to the education that it’s still present nowadays. Moreover, the education has made inside us that some skills which are attributed to leaders are very related with the men ones, like confidentness, reliability or security in the workplace and hence the history another time marks the society, “Because men have historically dominated managerial jobs, leader prototypes favor men over women”(Perry et al.,1994). Also, this labelism occurs in the opposite way, at the same that men are idealized as bosses, women are idealized as a “horrible female boss” (Filipovic, 2013). If people have this kind of preferences are due that leader women is supposed to act as the men should act and when people don’t find the requirement they think (because of education that elevates men) in the women is when they don’t understand her position, something expressed in the role congruity theory (Eagly & Karau, 2002).
Using this same theory another study analyze the results of a research, and also it’s find that men judged better women bosses than the women themselves, all of that because of the collective imaginary that we have set up in their minds (Elsesser & Lever, 2011).


Below you will find the resources from the comment posted previously, in order to let people arrive to the information too.


Powell, G., & Anthony Butterfield, D. (2015). The preference to work for a man or a woman: A matter of sex and gender?. Journal Of Vocational Behavior, 86, 28-37.

Elsesser, K., & Lever, J. (2011). Does gender bias against female leaders persist? Quantitative and qualitative data from a large-scale survey. Human Relations, 64(12), 1555-1578.


I also found evidence related to this topic in the following article.

According to it, organisations rely on myths such as meritocracy, efficiency and positive globalisation when in reality the people in charge of hiring or promoting people base their judgements much more on the cultural similarities of themselves or the company. This negatively affects all cultural minorities and also women who find it more difficult to access certain jobs where people from their minorities are absent and to be promoted to more responsible positions. 

Amis, J. M., Mair, J., & Munir, K. A. (2020). The organizational reproduction of inequality. The Academy of Management Annals, 14(1), 195–230.

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