A Gallup Poll shows that Americans would still prefer to work for a male (32%) rather than a female (22%) boss if they were taking a new job, but the edge for a male boss is shrinking. Almost half (46%) now say gender would make no difference in their preference.

When Gallup first asked about preferences for a male or female boss in 1953, 66% of Americans said they preferred a man, while 5% said they preferred a woman. About 6 in 10 preferred a male boss when Gallup next asked the question in 1975, but by the 1980s preferences for a male boss had slipped below 50%.

The gender of one's current boss appears to be related to preferences for the gender of one's boss. Working Americans who currently have a male boss (56%) prefer a male boss by a 23 point margin. The smaller number who currently have a female boss (30%) say they would prefer a female boss by a 9 point margin.

Although some might think that men would prefer a male boss and women a female boss, this does not appear to be the case. Instead, the Gallup results show that the major difference between sexes is in terms of having a preference at all. The majority of men express no preference regarding the gender of their boss, while women are more likely than men to say they prefer a male boss or prefer a female boss: men by 26% to 16%, women by 39% to 27%.

The poll also shows that age can make a difference in preferences. Americans younger than 50 tilt only slightly toward a preference for a male boss rather than a female boss (31% vs. 27%), while those 50 and older are significantly more likely to say they prefer a male (35% vs. 16%).

Women younger than 50 are virtually even in their preferences, with a slight tilt toward a desire for a female boss. Women 50 and older are substantially more likely to prefer a male boss, 44% vs. 18%. There is little difference in the preferences of men, regardless of their age.

For more information: http://www.gallup.com/poll/149360/americans-prefer-male-bosses-no-preference.aspx