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Americans still prefer male bosses, but not by much

September 10, 2011 |  9:00 am

Boss There’s a reason they still call it “working for the man”: Americans continue to prefer male bosses to female ones.

But the male edge is now the slimmest it's ever been. When pollster Gallup first began asking the question in 1953, 66% of Americans wanted Don Draper compared with the 5% looking for a female boss.

Now, male managers get 32% of the vote while female ones get 22%. Nearly half of people (including the majority of men) surveyed said they don’t care about the gender of their higher-ups.

But women –- especially ones older than 50 –- are much more opinionated. More women (39%) would like to report to a man than those (27%) who would rather have a woman in charge.

The gender of current bosses may have influenced the responses, Gallup said. Currently, 56% of Americans have a man at the helm while 30% are led by a woman. Thirteen percent said they have no boss.


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Photo: Female managers are catching up to men in American preferences. Though few would probably want one like Miranda Priestly, the tyrannical (and fictional) editor from the movie "The Devil Wears Prada." Credit: Barry Wetcher / 20th Century Fox