If Americans had their choice, most would rather have a male boss than a female one, but that preference isn't nearly as strong as it once was, according to a Gallup poll.
When Gallup first asked the question in 1953, 66 percent of respondents said they'd rather have a man at the helm, with just five percent preferring a woman. By 1975, not much had changed, with 62 percent favoring males, compared to 7 percent for females.
But things are different now. According to the latest results, 32 percent of Americans prefer a man in charge, compared to 22 percent who'd rather have a woman superior. That's the lowest-recorded difference in percentage ever recorded by Gallup.
Still, the largest percentage of those polled say they don't care one way or another if their boss is a man or woman -- a full 42 percent in the latest pole. Back in 1953, that number was only 29 percent.
However, among those with an opinion, women, the survey indicates, more often prefer a male superior. Indeed, 37 percent of women would rather have a male boss, compared to just 26 percent of men. Only 16 percent of men, however, would rather have a female boss.
In 2010, the Daily Mail reported on a survey that found that both men and women prefer male bosses, consistent with Gallup's poll. Carol Smith, the senior vice president and chief brand officer for the Elle Group, said in 2009 that she thought women were better bosses than men.
Smith told the New York Times, that male bosses "love to hear themselves talk” and that in previous jobs she would intentionally come late to meetings so she could miss the men’s conversations about golf and football.