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Do women prefer women or male bosses? Or is gender and leadership an irrelevant question today?
A few weeks ago, a reader sent me this comment after reading a piece that I wrote for Women’s Web on how the marital status of a woman is still the subject of much debate and discussion as far as the job market is concerned.
This reader said that his wife was in the process of hiring household help and that one question she would ask without fail was whether the woman was married or not. Surprised, he asked her what difference it made and she replied that, ‘If she is unmarried, she will spend most of her time attending to calls from her lover or would be soon married off.’
While on the surface this seemed to be a common enough sentiment, it got me thinking.
Are we women, actually the biggest obstacles to other women? Do we make it harder for other women to succeed in the work place, no matter what the nature of the job is? And as employees, do women prefer men or women as bosses?
I’ve mostly worked with female bosses and I’ve always found them to be mentor like. The couple of male bosses that I have had were not exactly bad either. So finding it hard to write an article on the same from my personal experience, I decided to crowd-source my research.
So on Twitter and Facebook , I posted this question and waited for the responses to come in.
“Do women prefer male bosses or female bosses? Does gender matter?”
While, I was looking at responses from women, the first few came in from men via Twitter and they were all on the same page.
‘Women prefer men as bosses,’ all of them responded.
And when I asked them why they thought so, most of them said that there was a perception that female bosses tended to be tougher and that men were more sympathetic and considerate towards their female employees.
However, the responses from the women were overwhelmingly contradictory to what the men thought.
Most of the women who pitched in by sharing their personal stories and experiences categorically stated that gender did not matter and that it depended on the bosses’ individual style and personality. Most of them also said that as long as the bosses respected their work and them, it hardly mattered whether their boss was male or female. There were also those who said that they had often found female bosses to better leaders overall and even mentors.
But then there was also a small minority of women who responded saying that they had had better experiences while working with a male boss.
‘Female bosses can be petty and bitchy,’ they said. ‘Male bosses have always worked better for me,’ another said.
Now, according to this very recent survey done in the United Kingdom, only 6% of 800 female workers said that they want to work with a female boss.
A 2009 study claimed that most women prefer working for men as well, as men are less prone to moods. However there are studies that claim the exact opposite as well and that most employees prefer to work under female bosses.
There are either hardly any studies done on this topic in India and the sub-continent or if done, they are not accessible to people like me who have been trawling the Internet for data of any kind on the same. However based on the responses I received, I would say that in theory at least, gender does not matter to most working women as long as they are led well and the work they do is respected.
I would love to hear from the working women out there on whether they have any gender preferences as far as their bosses are concerned and why.
Your turn, ladies.
Shweta Ganesh Kumar is a writer, blogger and creator of the modern Indian parenting blog ‘The Times Of Amma’,and 'Inkspire' - the digital platform for aspiring Indian writers. She was awarded the prestigious UN Laadli read more...
Women's Web is an open platform that publishes a diversity of views, individual posts do not necessarily represent the platform's views and opinions at all times.
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Shows like Indian Matchmaking only further the argument that women must adhere to social norms without being allowed to follow their hearts.
When Netflix announced that Indian Matchmaking (2020-present) would be renewed for a second season, many of us hoped for the makers of the show to take all the criticism they faced seriously. That is definitely not the case because the show still continues to celebrate regressive patriarchal values.
Here are a few of the gendered notions that the show propagates.
A mediocre man can give himself a 9.5/10 and call himself ‘the world’s most eligible bachelor’, but an independent and successful woman must be happy with receiving just 60-70% of what she feels she deserves.
As long as teachers are competent in their job, and adhere to the workplace code of conduct, how does it matter what they do in their personal lives?
A 30 year old Associate Professor at a well-known University, according to an FIR filed by her, was forced to resign because the father of one of her students complained that he found his son looking at photographs of her, which according to him were “objectionable” and “bordering on nudity”.
There are two aspects to this case, which are equally disturbing, and which together make me question where we are heading as a society.
When the father of an 18 year old finds his son looking at photographs of a lady in a swimsuit, he can do many things. What this parent allegedly did was to dash off a letter to the University which states: