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Leadership & Communication

34% of women ‘prefer’ male bosses

30 Aug 2013, by Informa Insights

Over one-third of women would prefer to have a male rather than a female boss, according to a new study.

Research by UK-based women’s fashion retailer Hobbs revealed that only a quarter of men felt the same way.

The figures showed that while 61 per cent of all respondents said they had no preference, there was a noticeable bias shown by women towards working for a man.

According to Hobbs, the main factor seemed to be that women had a lack of confidence in themselves and, by proxy, other women in leadership roles.

More than two-thirds of females admitted they needed to show more confidence in the workplace, while 48 per cent claimed they should be more supportive of each other.

Iain MacRitchie, chairman of Hobbs, said working on a majority female board has enabled him to see first-hand the leadership skills of women in high-ranking positions, including creativity and confidence.

He stated: “From the research, male bosses are deemed to have more confidence and having less confidence in their own abilities really hinders women.

“This confidence inequality can be addressed positively through more active support and encouragement from both genders, as well as providing greater flexibility and understanding on the part of employers.”

Interestingly, the most important characteristics of a quality leader were determined to be good communication and listening skills, with women scoring higher than men in both categories.

But men performed significantly better in regards to sense of humour, friendliness and being logical.

The youngest age group surveyed – 18 to 24 – were the only demographic to say they would prefer a female boss to a male one.

Hobbs claimed this is because younger workers are entering the workforce with an open mindset, which could set a trend for future engagement within the employment sector.

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