While workplaces around the world are striving to be more and more diverse and inclusive, there is still a gap in the number of women who occupy senior management positions. In a survey conducted around 60 years ago by the market research firm Gallop amongst a group of people older than 20, the question posed was the choice of a boss – a man or a woman? The results are not shocking given the time period, 66% of the respondents said that they would prefer a male boss, 5% said that they would prefer a female boss and 25% were agnostic of the boss’ gender. Things have moved in last decades with more women coming into the corporate world. When a similar survey was rolled out again in 2012 across more than 10,000 people, 33% responded with a preference for male bosses, 20 % with a preference for female bosses and 46% were agnostic.
Women tend to be better managers than men according to multiple studies conducted in the last decade. In a survey, again conducted by Gallop, it was found that employees working for a female manager were 6% more engaged at work when compared to male managers. Female employees working with female managers responded with the highest engagement numbers. Also, females in leadership positions are more engaged themselves at around 41% when compared to men at around 35%. This is not a surprising find as a highly engaged boss is very likely to have similar levels of engagement within her team.
The reasons behind this are many. The most important one being the shared feeling of concern and career development between the boss and the employee. People working with a female boss are on an average 1.3 times more likely to say that their development at work is encouraged by superiors. Female managers are more adept at nurturing talent and providing the right kind of stimulating opportunities for their teams when compared to men. According to the survey, women bosses also provide feedback more regularly on their team’s career and professional development goals. Another finding in the survey was that employees working for women bosses are 1.2 times more likely to agree to have received some form of recognition for good work.