According to Gallup in 1953 two-thirds of U.S. workers preferred a male boss and only 25 percent said the sex of their manager did not matter to them. Sixty years later in a new survey Gallup has found that attitudes have shifted. Now 46 percent of workers have no opinion about whether their boss is male or female.
One reason for this shift maybe that those who work for female managers have been found to be more engaged than their counterparts managed by men. These engagement statistics were uncovered by Gallup’s State of the American Manager: Analytics and Advice for Leaders survey.
Not only are those serving under female managers more engaged but the mangers themselves are more engaged than their male associates. Gallup has uncovered that 41 percent of female managers are engaged at work, compared with 35 percent of male managers. If female managers, on average, are more engaged than male managers, does that mean that they are likely to contribute more to their organization’s current and future success?
Gallup believes so, but cautions against hiring bias. In an article written by Gallup’s Kimberly Fitch and Sangeeta Agrawal, the authors write,
“Though some may find Gallup’s findings surprising, the management implication is quite clear: U.S. organizations should emphasize hiring and promoting more female managers. To do this, organizations should use talent as the basis for their selection decisions. Talent is an equalizer that removes gender bias in the hiring process. Talent gives organizations a proven, scientifically sound method for choosing the best candidate, regardless of gender.”
Gallup’s premise is that gender bias still exists in hiring and promotion. Their data suggests that men are still hired and promoted often times outside the confines of talent. If organizations put their blinders on and promote more purely on fit and talent then they may find themselves reducing gender bias – and as a result create more successful organizations.