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“Female bosses are a nightmare:” Another Study Find that Men and Women Prefer Male Bosses

“Female bosses are a nightmare:” Another Study Find that Men and Women Prefer Male Bosses

“Female bosses are a nightmare to work for,” concluded a survey from the online recruitment firm www.UKJobs.net.

Sure we’ve heard it before. Even over here at Care2 where our very own Robin Marty explored an article by Forbes claiming “everyone prefers males bosses.” But in this new article from the Daily Mail I couldn’t help but marvel at the blatantly stereotypical language used to describe what an apparent “nightmare” women are to work for.

For example, female bosses are (and I quote):

  • hormonal (read: moody, “that time of the month”)
  • incapable of leaving their personal lives at home (read: emotional)
  • only too happy to talk about their staff behind their backs (read: gossipy)
  • backstabbing (read: manipulative, fake)
  • loose cannons (need I say more)
  • feel threatened by colleagues (read: insecure)
  • sharp tongued (read: bitchy)
  • too cliquey (read: catty)
  • too competitive (read: aggressive)
  • spend too long worrying about their appearance (read: vain)

With maybe the exception of being “too competitive,” a quality that is usually reserved for men and often seen as a positive trait in business, the rest of the characteristics used to describe female bosses run the gamut of typical stereotypes used to portray women.

Are the majority of female bosses all really moody, gossipy, manipulative, insecure, bitchy, catty, and vain OR are they only being portrayed that way because they are women?

Would a man ever be described using these colorful characteristics or is he immune because of his gender (read: penis)?

Luckily for men, they at least can’t be labeled “hormonal.” In fact, “no time of the month” was actually listed as number 7 on the list of “male assets” that the article so cleverly created. Other assets include “less likely to suffer from mood swings” (remember – no time of the month) and “less likely to bitch about others.”

For women, on the other hand,  one third of respondents even claimed that it was “obvious” when it was their female bosses “time of the month” because of all the mood swings they suffered.

Given all these traits both men (75%) and women (63%) agreed that men make better bosses.

But don’t worry ladies, David Brown of the online recruitment firm who conducted the survey, doesn’t believe women are incapable of management roles nor is he suggesting that we aren’t intelligent  enough to be in senior positions.

No, he says we just need to “be more approachable and less competitive.” Or, you know, a man.

Do you think women are often stereotyped in the workplace because of their gender? Do you prefer a male boss to a female boss or vice versa or does their sex not matter?

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Photo by mirimcfly used under a Creative Commons license. 

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483 comments

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11:14PM PDT on Mar 15, 2014

Controlling, anger, entitlement and devaluing combine to create a very abusive work place.
This can really damage you if you minimize how it affects you.
Get help or get out asap, It rarely gets better as these people do not want therapy or change. Refuse to allow this behaviour to go unchecked. Walk away, now!

11:13PM PDT on Mar 15, 2014

Controlling, anger, entitlement and devaluing combine to create a very abusive work place.
This can really damage you if you minimize how it affects you.
Get help or get out asap, It rarely gets better as these people do not want therapy or change. Refuse to allow this behaviour to go unchecked. Walk away, now!

11:46PM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

Thank you.

8:44PM PDT on Aug 6, 2013

Thank you.

6:20AM PDT on Jun 25, 2013

come on guys.. why no one says the truth? a boss sucks! specialy to ones who doesn´t care about responsabilities.

6:43PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

I'll say it again (hopefully for the last time), there is no acceptable reason for the abuse that exisits in the workplace irrespective of people's sex, age, race etc. It's a serious problem that affects workplace productivity and personal lives in so many ways. It needs to stop!

1:24PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

I find it interesting how people will look at the comments, reading only what they want to support their own, narrow, and often bigoted, views. Every comment I have heard, including in the study itself, putting down female bosses I have seen in male bosses as well. Anyone who thinks gender is an issue in making a good or bad boss, is fooling themselves.

If I look at my own experience, the worst bosses I have had have been male, far worse than any female boss I've had. The best have been male, though the margin there is much closer.

Wake up people. Gender is no more a valid basis for such bigotry as this article puts forward than religious views, sexual orientation, national heritage, skin color, or hair color.

12:47PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

It is interesting to note that most of the comments on this forum are from people in favor of a male boss. The comments speak for the themselves: men make better bosses :)

12:27PM PDT on Jun 24, 2013

Female bosses make people's lives a living hell. No thanks.
Give me a male boss any day of the week.

5:55PM PDT on Sep 5, 2012

Anyone who is in a management or supervisory position irrespective of gender or age needs to behave in a respectful manner towards their staff. Unfortunately yes there seems to be a bias against females in leadership roles but I dont think its just about social attitudes. I have already expressed my views in a previous comment here about women in leadership roles in a male dominated environment.

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Disclaimer: The views expressed above are solely those of the author and may not reflect those of
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