August 3rd, 2009
06:00 PM ET

Do women make better bosses?

FROM CNN's Jack Cafferty:

Women make better bosses than men. So says Carol Smith, a senior vice president at Elle media company. She tells the New York Times that there's no contest: Women are better advisers, mentors and rational thinkers.

She adds that male bosses "love to hear themselves talk," and that in some jobs, she's intentionally arrived late to meetings so she could miss the sports talk before they got down to business.

Some experts agree: They say women are more collaborative and democratic than men. Also, they say women are more encouraging and less bossy - because people tolerate bossy women even less than bossy men.

One former female executive says women give more "straight talk" than men, and that many employees complain about the feedback style of male bosses - calling it everything from harsh to evasive.

But others say that women don't necessarily make better bosses. They find them less likely to take risks and say they're more emotional, which can be a bad thing... They say that women who it make it to senior management positions wind up belittling other women as a way to prove their own superiority. One study shows that women report less stress if their boss is a man.

Research also shows that good managers usually exhibit more so-called masculine traits - like autonomy and independence - than feminine traits - like warmth and sensitivity - to what others need.

Here’s my question to you: Do women make better bosses?

Interested to know which ones made it on air?

Darrell from Houston writes:
The answer is simply no. Women are the best co-workers, great team players, and just great to work with, but this all changes when they are the boss! Women have one major flaw in their character: emotions. As a boss, she will either be the best you've had or your worst nightmare/enemy...and this is just Monday and Tuesday...depending on how all of her other relationships are going in her life!

Melissa writes:
Speaking as a woman, I say no they don't. Women are, by nature, cattier, and even crueler in some ways than men. Plus most women think they have something to prove so they're also more aggressive because of it.

Kathy writes:
Very possibly they do. However, a blanket statement is never entirely correct. Women very often are more organized and better able to multi-task than men. They can be much more sensitive to the underlying causes of problems.

Steve writes:
Well, for the last 7 years, I’ve had a boss who is a woman. She is not a big risk taker at all. She kind of goes with the flow, like a lot of women do. I am married and it feels like I have to cater to both all the time.

Julie from Austin, Texas writes:
I think this is a sexist question. I wish everyone would finally accept the fact that there are women who are bad bosses and women who are good bosses – just like men. I manage 36 people and have been told that I am a "good boss". My husband on the other hand worked for a woman who only made "emotional" decisions and was absolutely impossible to work for.

Ken writes:
I've been out of work for over 3 years. Right now, I'd be happy to have a coffee table for a boss.

Graham writes:
Jack, Your boss, man or woman, needs to find more for you to do.

Filed under: Uncategorized
soundoff (196 Responses)
  1. SLM

    NO. As a woman the worst bosses I have ever had were female.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:03 pm |
  2. Dave, Brooklyn, NY

    It all depends on the woman. I had the best boss you could possibly hope for – and I had the worst you could possibly imagine – both were men. I don’t think it would be any different with women.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:06 pm |
  3. Chuck in warren, Ohio

    Jack: I worked for some good women bosses and I worked for two that were a good waste of oxygen.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:12 pm |
  4. Sue in LA

    Maybe if you're a man. Every woman boss I have ever had feels she has to prove something and is very difficult to work for.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  5. Maria

    Generally speaking, I think they do. There will always be the bosses who make your life miserable, male or female. But the executive "boss" that I was in the '80s, the women (and men) I trained during that time, and those women I've worked for sense have been tremendous executives.


    August 3, 2009 at 2:14 pm |
  6. Rick Medina,OH


    There is no gender bias for employer quality. Good employers have a clear vision and a plan, and have the ability to communicate both to their staff. They also have the ability to assess and the courage to act on their assessments. Most importantly, they continually self-assess, and adjust their plans accordingly.

    Rick, Medina, OH

    August 3, 2009 at 2:19 pm |

    You can't judge bosses on being a male or female. It all depends on what they are educated to be. If you were trained to flip hamburgers and they needed a manager, then probably not. A secretary might not be able to handle being a boss in a financial instution. Sometimes, it depends on who you know or who you sleep with.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  8. Brigid from Fairfax

    It depends on who you ask, Jack. I find men are less judgmental and more easily manipulated, but also ruthless about the bottom line. Women are either too easy (wanting to please everybody annd be liked and nothing gets done) or too hard (not carrying about their employees, trying to show the men how tough they are).

    I prefer a younger man with a family vs. a younger woman trying to make her mark. (Older bosses still need training!)

    August 3, 2009 at 2:23 pm |
  9. Gary of El Centro, Ca

    I don't think gender is a factor in whether or not someone is a good boss. In this day and age, there are many women that can hold their own as "leaders", whether it be in public service or private enterprise. There are also many women that leave a lot to be desired as a boss, just like there are many men that fall short in the leadership traits.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:30 pm |
  10. Terry in Virginia

    My sole female boss was fantastic. She worked hard, appreciated all her employees' efforts, and was honest as the day is long. She treated me as a professional and I never had to worry that if we worked late at night that she'd sneak up behind me to kiss the top of my head or stroke my hair or make inappropriate suggestions.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:31 pm |
  11. JC in Georgia

    Depends on the woman. Just like men, there are good ones, and there are the sucky ones.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:35 pm |
  12. Tom in Desoto, Tx

    I had one woman supervisor who did everything to make my work life a hell by holding back information or by giving me miss information. In spite of her efforts I was promoted within a year and later promoted again as she remained at her post. I'm sure this isn't everyone experience but I'll pass on the clicks and pettiness I experienced.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:36 pm |
  13. Nuria In Miami

    I worked for a woman two times in my life. One was a supervisor who routinely threw her work on to my desk, then stabbed me in the back to cover her own behind, and as a result I was let go. The other was a total dictator who promised me several things before I was hired, only to go back on her word once I was working for her. One of those was health insurance. I left after about a year, since she kept pimping me out to the people who sublet ofice space on her floor. She'd make them pay for my helping them with administrative work, yet never bothered to even offer me a raise in the entire time I worked for her.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:38 pm |
  14. Richard, Syracuse, NY

    Some make far better bosses then Men. I have had the pleasure of working for a number of Female Bosses. All but one of them worried more about getting the job done than Political Games, there was far less yelling and more concern about getting the job done and done correctly.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  15. Al, Lawrence KS

    My wife says yes...and I agree. Nuf said.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:43 pm |
  16. NANCY M.- Colorado

    This is one of those questions that cannot possibly be answered with a difinitive yes or no. Of course it depends on the individuals. Men and women each bring valuable skills and management philosophies to the job. Let's get back to something we need to solve, such as health care. I'm for a government option or a single pay solution.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:44 pm |
  17. Greg in Cabot Arkansas

    Jack, I have had more than three dozen jobs in the past 45 years and had the misfortune of working for two women. Both have given me the worst job reviews, sleepless nights, heart burn and hives. With only 7 years to retirement and a boss that rides her broom to work, the only thing I look forward to is an early death because I know I won't live long enough to cash my first Social Security Check.....nuff said.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:46 pm |
  18. Tina Texas

    Oh God no. I would much rather work for a man than a hormonal woman who has split personalities daily. Will she be Dr Jekyl or Dr Hyde today? Please just leave me alone cause I do not want to listen to your problems of life cause I have my own.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:47 pm |
  19. andyzag Lynn, MA

    I've had terrific female bosses; I've had horrible female bosses. The same is true of male bosses; some terrific, some horrible. Bosses that empower their employees, that have the confidence to get the job done, that can motivate their empoyees and set attainable goals are the superstars of the managerial world.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:48 pm |
  20. Kevin in Dallas

    Unless there's some neurological difference between men and women that I am unaware of, women are no better or worse at being a boss than men are.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:52 pm |
  21. Cheryl in South Carolina

    In a word, yes. Female bosses are more intuitive, more likely to spot a problem and nip it in the bud, and less likely to be oblivious to their employees' feelings.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  22. Peg from NY

    No. A better boss has little to do with the sex of the person in charge. The best boss is the most capable boss.

    August 3, 2009 at 2:55 pm |
  23. moe highland village tx

    Depends on how attractive they are....er, thats what I think anyway..

    August 3, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  24. Larry from Georgetown, Texas

    I don't believe gender has anything to do with being a good or bad boss. I've had the experience of working for good bosses and bad ones from both genders. A good boss is not a boss at all, they are leaders who motivate people to do their best and don't criticize but inspire, and this is a very rare quality. You've got a lot of nerve, guts, asking a question like this one.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:00 pm |
  25. Jan Payne

    It depends upon the woman, of course. By far the best boss I ever had in my 50 years of working was a woman. And some of the worst were women, too.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:03 pm |
  26. Jim Donald (Ontario)

    I have worked for both women and male bosses. I wouldn't say they make better bosses. They make just as good of a boss from my experience. At the end of the day the work must get done whatever it is and the boss facilitates the work load. I find it is more that it depends on the individual not the sex of the boss. In the long run it's your skills on getting workers to complete jobs, achieve goals, etc. So i couldn't say they make better bosses nor can i say they make worse.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:07 pm |
  27. Terry, Chandler AZ

    I don't think so Jack. I've got three ex-wives who positivly demonstrated that the can be quite bossy. Problem was that they were not successful in providing the qualities necessary to be a good boss.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:09 pm |
  28. robert


    every smart married man had better say yes to this question, or there will be a lot of dog houses bought tonite to sleep in!

    August 3, 2009 at 3:16 pm |
  29. Jan Illinois

    Oh Jack , You ask for it pal, women make better anything!! Behind every successful man, is a woman who without her, he would not be where he is today, be it his mother , his wife his sister or daughter. It just is what it is Jack ol boy, admit it man, we women have know it all along. I'd be willing to bet if the women walked out of the work force all together, it would all turn to dust, it is what it is.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:19 pm |
  30. John from Alabama

    Jack: It is a 50/50 proposition. I have had women bosses who were great, and I have had women bosses who were terrible failures. Leadership style is the factor that makes a good boss; regardless, of the gender.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:20 pm |
  31. Max Fairview, Texas

    I think some women make excellent bosses and some are not so good at it. It reminds me of a thing called the Peter principle where in a person is always promoted to their level of incompetence. Some rise beyond that. Others never do. A good supervisor always praises their people publicly and disciplines them privately. And last but not least a supervisor is only as good as the people they surround themselves with.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:29 pm |
  32. Darrell from Houston

    This is a very good question! The answer is simply...NO! Women are the best co-workers, great team players, and just great to work with...BUT...this all changes when they are the boss! Women have one major flaw in their character...Emotions! As a boss she will either be the best you've had or your worst nightmare/enemy...and this is just Monday and Tuesday...depending on how all of her other relationships are going in her life! A male boss will be consistent...if he's mean...he'll be that way all week. If the male boss is nice...he's nice all week.
    My male perspective on this question is that...Women...are worse as a boss...because..."They are so very likeable"! So, when they flip flop attitudes and demeanor...the whole office/company flips and flops along with the person they admired....YESTERDAY....LOL!

    August 3, 2009 at 3:30 pm |
  33. Russell, Bethel Alaska

    Better, hmmm no about the same I would say. Just a whole lot nicer to look at.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  34. Agnes from Scottsdale, AZ

    Jack: Some women are fabulous bosses and others are zeros. Since work/life balance is importnat these days, women may take a more humane view, but when it comes to making tough business decisions, women need to work on their style and delivery. As for men, some of my best and worst bosses were men. So bottom line, it's probably a draw!

    August 3, 2009 at 3:33 pm |
  35. Melissa

    Speaking as a woman, no they don't. Women are, by nature, cattier, and even crueler in some ways than men. Plus most women think they have something to prove so they're also more aggressive because of it.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:35 pm |
  36. Conor in Chicago

    In my experience I wouldn’t say women make bad bosses but they certainly don’t better bosses-especially in small environments. I hate to say it but in my experience women have a much harder time keeping their personal problems from effecting their relationships with their coworkers. For example, I used to have a boss where I knew whether or not her and her boyfriend were fighting based solely on how snotty she was to me first thing in the morning. I’ve never had that experience with a male boss.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  37. T. G. from the virgin islands

    It depends on the personality of an individual.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:36 pm |
  38. Dennis North Carolina

    gender doesnot play a role in being the boss. the mental capacity is what makes a good boss or not.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:39 pm |
  39. Harold , ANCHORAGE, AK

    Sometimes, but in a female dominated industry I have frequently faced reverse descrimination as a man in nursing. Despite this, and rather poor pay, I remain an LPN because the work is challenging and fulfilling in other ways.
    But the GOOD(fair) female bosses are rare indeed.Many seem to use their positions to be misanthropes

    August 3, 2009 at 3:42 pm |
  40. Teresa NY

    Throughout my 55 years of working before retirement I've had experience with supervisors of both genders and all the female supervisors I've had were nothing but self centered and ignorant to their employees. Do women make better better bosses? In plain English, NO!

    August 3, 2009 at 3:53 pm |
  41. Michael M Phoenix AZ

    It depends on the type of management position you are talking about. For males, it is probably more of an ego or power trip they think they hold over subordinates. Females seem to be more of a thinking personality overall as to what is best for all.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:55 pm |
  42. Greg, Ontario

    Not in my experience. Women turn mole hills into mountains and often double the stress when a problem has to be solved. When a male employer solves a problem with an employee even if it involves yelling and screaming on both parts it usually ends in a handshake and is forgotten. A woman on the other hand will remember every word you said and hold it against you. You have to be very measured and controlled in what you say. I have also watched them smile and say problem solved to people just to complain about them behind their back to other people. I have never seen a man do that. I would also say Jack I would not paint all female employers with the same brush either so this is a hard question.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:56 pm |
  43. Mike from Denver

    The right individual for the right position is what matters, Jack. Personality traits and skills are far more important than gender.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:57 pm |
  44. Jeff in Glen Carbon IL

    Most of my supervisors in the last 30 years were women and they were far superior to the men that I have worked for. Much less ego decision making; more honest and loyal; tend not to avoid conflict when it matters to nip it in the bud; more ethical; more honest with their supperior or with the board. If I am a good manager, most of it is what I learned from those female managers! They were more sensitive to the impact of their decisions both to subordinates and to the next generation within the company.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:58 pm |
  45. Lee in Michigan

    I can't speak for everyone, but my own experience says "Absolutely not!" In the last 30 years, I've had 5 jobs. In two of those jobs, I had female bosses, in the other two, male. The two jobs with female bosses were hell on earth. I began dreading Monday morning before I walked out of work on Friday night. The female bosses I had were vicious, nasty, underhanded and downright dishonest. While the male bosses were not perfect, I swore I would never work for another woman. By the way, I'm female, so this is really hard for me to say. I really wish it hadn't been so.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  46. Marlene

    No I don't think that gender makes a difference in being an effective boss. But it is amazing that our colleges and universities (outside of some graduate programs) don't offer any course work for leadership. Effective leaders aren't born that way.

    August 3, 2009 at 3:59 pm |
  47. cy gardner

    That's crazy. IF women bosses are so good, how come they only earn two thirds as much as male bosses? I mean, c'mon! cy arlington, va

    August 3, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  48. Kim

    Jack, I worked in a company that was 90%women with a male boss. My day-to-day operations were "handled" by the myriad of female executives, middle managers and general pee-ons. It was not all love-ins, roses and incense burners....... It was a fight everyday for attention, recognition and credit without having some Negative Nelly try to take it all away. The male boss had the final say on our proposals and, if rejected, back to the fight again. I don't believe it's any different that a male methodology and I loved every minute!

    August 3, 2009 at 4:01 pm |
  49. Christine from Edmeston, New York

    In the same company for 12 years, I have had 9 different bosses. The absolute best are the first (a man) and the current one (a woman). Two (a man and a woman) were hopeless. The other five (2 men, 3 women) were OK, but I can't think of a single characteristic I used to rate these 9 individuals that has anything to do with gender. If you're a capable, likeable, inspiring boss, what difference does it make which side of your shirt the buttonholes are on?

    August 3, 2009 at 4:04 pm |
  50. Dee in Florida

    I think intelligen PEOPLE make better bosses.

    Unfortunately many bosses are unintelligent, male or female. The difference is how they DISPLAY their unintelligence.

    As for the idea that male bosses spend time talking about sports etc, that is really no worse than talking about kids or relationships or where they bought some clothes or the trip the went on with their girlfriends!

    The real problem with bosses is that once they get to the boss level many think their main job is to yak on the phone, wander around with a coffee cup in their hands, or play games on their computers.

    Most adult WORKERS do not need a BOSS anyway.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:05 pm |
  51. C.K. of Colorado

    If you have a bad boss, what does gender have to do with it? I've had both lousy male and female bosses, and good ones too. Currently, I have 2 supervisors, one male and one female, and thankfully, they're both great.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  52. william fitzwater


    One of my best bosses was female. There were others who were male who were good as well. I don't think they (men) get it when it comes to both gender & other area of discrimination. Men have not been looked at as inferior unless they are of color. In many cases there exists the perception that women as mangers are something of a abnormality. I do think that women bosses have another dimension that men sometimes don't posses in both sensitivity & intuition that men tend to take competitiveness as best but sometimes don't look at the intelectional and emotional sides of decision making.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:06 pm |
  53. anthony from glassboro.nj

    Jack, are you kidding? Women are nosy, interferring, judgmental, gossipy and overly maternal. In my experience, they were always taking the females under their wing and showed a lot of hostility against male employees. I'd rather live in a tent under the overpass than be gainfully employed under a female tyrant! Women should stay at home and practice nagging their husbands until the poor working stiffs come home.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:10 pm |
  54. J. A. Pavich

    I find women to be more petty toward other women to be honest. They judge each other on the most shallow things. A good boss is, regardless of sex, one who knows how to lead, pull their people together as a team, and work toward goals AS a team. Someone who can motivate, reward, challenge and guide. And that's not limited to one particular sex. Those are personality traits, not gender ones.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:13 pm |
  55. Wendy T, New Hampshire

    The best boss I ever had was a woman and the worst boss I ever had was a woman. I don't think gender matters. What _does_ matter is that the boss is a mature individual, willing to forge collaborative effrots, listen and encourage to their employees , take the blame when they're wrong and celebrate everyone's successes...not just their own.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:14 pm |
  56. Larry, Ohio

    Jack,I believe it depends on the person.I have worked for four different women and they were all exceptional supervisors.I have also worked for some men who were real jerks.I'm sure with the right people that could all be reversed.It really has nothing to with gender,only people!

    August 3, 2009 at 4:16 pm |
  57. jenny

    As a woman who has a female boss let me just state this as clearly as I can. NO NO NO. Male bosses call you in the problem is dealt with and everyone goes back to work. With at least my particular female boss, there is enough backstabbing and grudge holding to last a life time going on in our office. Give me a male boss anytime.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  58. Gary - Woodhaven, Michigan

    Boss is such an archaic term and denotes patriarchy and rigidity. It is a term from an era gone by.

    In my working years I always preferred managers and executives who understood that it was about people, about people mattering and feeling secure. This is what produced results and a job I wanted to keep going back to.

    Now that I am retired and looking back it was never about control, it was about democracy and some level of humanness that made the work place functional.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:21 pm |
  59. S, Michigan

    Yes- for some and no for others! By the way, I'm a man and if my wife asks, make sure you say I said YES!! (she is the best boss!)

    August 3, 2009 at 4:23 pm |
  60. Keith - Twinsburg, Ohio

    I don't hear many stories of women getting caught with call-boys, or on ego-trips... except for Polosi.... (Probably on another junket right now.)

    Women attend to every detail as opposed to men who prioritize everything. The only problem with that is that it only take one mis-spelled word to distract them from the main thought...

    Except for having to deal with their moods, I think women DO make better bosses...

    August 3, 2009 at 4:25 pm |
  61. Dea in Fayetteville NC

    No, female bosses tend to be more emotionally involved with their employees and more likely to play favorites or take sides in arguments that have nothing to do with work. My worse bosses have almost always been female. I have only had two male bosses act like this in 20 year and they were being pushed by their female assistant managers.

    What is ironic is that most of the time the favorites are going behind the bosses back and gossiping about her personal life. I don't play that game, so the gossip mill works overtime against me and other women like me.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  62. john j. grimes Watertown, Ma.

    A simple answer of NO should suffice. Most of the women I knew who attempted to climb the proverbial ladder of success became very unhappy on their journey to liberation.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  63. Roy - Chicago

    Jack, My wife told me to say yes. Did your wife tell you to pose this question? See you at Husbands Anonymous! Coming honey!!!!!!!!

    August 3, 2009 at 4:26 pm |
  64. Brittnay Palm Beach, Florida

    It depends on the woman! I am a relatively conservative republican and even I can tell you someone like Hilary Clinton was made to be in a position of power where someone like Sarah Palin might not quite have the ability to seperate personal and buisness. Maybe there are more males that have the qualitites that allow for unbiased leadership but there are surely women out there that also share these characteristics. I know I shouldn't. I could fly off the handle at any moment.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:28 pm |
  65. Linda in Arizona

    It depends completely on the individual. I've had some terrible women bosses, and some really awful men as well. I tend not to like being bossed by anyone. I don't like the hierarchical structure where someone thinks they have the right to tell me what to do. I do better being my own boss. I'm the best boss of me.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:29 pm |
  66. Ron from SF

    I’ve had bad men and women managers and sex has nothing to do with it. The best manager I ever had was a man who I hated initially. But he made me and the rest of the team better than they were when he took over and isn't that what you seek in a manager? I owe so much of my success to him, that I can only say: Thanks Harold Wasserman!

    August 3, 2009 at 4:32 pm |
  67. Paulette from Dallas,PA

    It depends on her management style. If the woman has perfected all of the basic management skills and and works well as a team leader and motivator,then I am sure she would be able to lead her team onto success.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:33 pm |
  68. Mellie in Phoenix

    What a silly question Jack. Women, like men, have the potential to be a great boss or a horrible boss. I've worked for enough of each to know that gender has nothing to do with what goes into making one a good or bad boss.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:34 pm |
  69. Dan

    No better or worse than a man.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:37 pm |
  70. Nakisha Charlotte,NC

    Women actually make harder bosses. I think that because women are still trying to compete with men and show that they can do the job just as well, they are a little tough on their employees, so that there won't be any slip ups on their part.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:38 pm |
  71. Angela, Kentucky

    I've seen good and bad in both male & female supervisors so you couldn't prove it by my experience.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:39 pm |
  72. Tim in Texas

    Depends on the person, Jack. But I will tell you one thing that can be proven. Businesses do better when they have women in senior positions. That doesn't mean that all senior positions should be filled by women, just that a mix is better.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:40 pm |
  73. Miguel from San Leandro, CA

    I don't think it has to do with gender but with other factors. Having good management and people skills, being a good communicator and listener and letting people do their jobs, but holding them responsibility. It has nothing to do with gender.

    "We cling to hierarchies because our place in a hierarchy is, rightly or wrongly, a major indicator of our social worth."
    — Harold J. Leavitt

    August 3, 2009 at 4:49 pm |
  74. Yeshiembet Gemaneh

    I myself as a woman can very well evaluate how it works to be a boss. As to integrate and honesty I think women can be better. In general, women are more aggressive than men and they are less submissive and tolerance. Women get easily nervous and they are very bossy. However, there should be talented and better women out there to be a better boss than men.

    August 3, 2009 at 4:54 pm |
  75. CJ of Arkansas

    My experience is more with the personality type and not gender. Bosses who will not listen to staff or try to micromanage are a real problem. I have not seen one gender better as a boss.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:01 pm |
  76. Ken in NC

    Women are smarter bosses than men. Consider this. Many married men will tell you they are the boss in the family and their wife will tell you that. When a husband says this, if you will look at the wife, you will see a smiling wife gently nodding her head in the affirmative with that "LOOK" in their eyes. You get the message? They are such good bosses that they even allow us to think we are in charge of something other than taking out the trash.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:04 pm |
  77. Greg Mechanicsburg, PA

    You heard it here first, Jack. Women are people too. The skills required for being a "boss" are related to the agenda and venue, not the sex of the person holding the job.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  78. David in Raleigh, NC

    As with anything, you can't judge all women because of their gender. There are good women bosses and good men bosses. There are bad women bosses and bad men bosses. It depends on the individual regardless of their gender.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:07 pm |
  79. Rodney from Little Rock, Arkansas

    I've had bad female bosses and bad male bosses, and even bosses that were good at first and became bad later and vise-versa. I think it really all depends on the employee: what they will and won't put up with.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:12 pm |
  80. Diane Dagenais Turbide

    Dear Jack,

    A good boss is not based on one specific gender! I think human beings can be aware that one needs to integrate both male and female work attitudes and influences depending on the situation being faced and depending on the individual in front of you.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:15 pm |
  81. David

    Couldn't be worst than some men.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:37 pm |
  82. Gigi

    I have work for both men and women it is more personality the sex. I don't like working for a "A" personality type. I'm sorry to say I'm probably and "A" personality myself. We can be nice but we expect too much.


    August 3, 2009 at 5:40 pm |
  83. Drew

    A little bit sexist there... It is not about what gender you are. It is about how you do your job. Now, there may be differences in both genders that might alter how they work as a boss, for example women have emotional problems and will sometimes be happy or mad. ( I am saying this from experience of course.)

    August 3, 2009 at 5:41 pm |
  84. Allen, Cypress, Texas

    There is no proof that women make better bosses. I have worked with some doozies in both sexes in the more than 30 years of my work life. However, I've also worked with some nice ones.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:45 pm |
  85. Karl from SF, CA

    As a guy who has worked for men and women over the years., I'll take a woman boss any day. They lok at situations from all sides. Men tend to get stuck in tunnel vision all too often.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:46 pm |
  86. mike

    During my working days I had both. I found that it depended on the person just like every thing else in life. Good persons make good bosses and nasty people make terrible bosses.

    August 3, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  87. Sonia in Missouri

    No, There is no difference in leadership skills based on sex. It all depends on the person who is the boss. Why do people think one sex is better than the other sex at something?

    August 3, 2009 at 5:54 pm |
  88. kishen c.rao

    of course...we need to respect...women perticularly...well, my wife is a boss to me...it does not bother me a bit...just for laughter!!!!!!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:00 pm |
  89. Ed H.


    I tell you what...a woman can manage family better than a man but we do not give them a chance because of one big fact..too much emotion

    August 3, 2009 at 6:03 pm |
  90. joke alons

    yes, because women are more reasonable !

    August 3, 2009 at 6:05 pm |
  91. Alex

    No, absolutely not. The worst bosses I've ever had were female and my friends have had the same experiences.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:11 pm |
  92. Mark

    No. Women are too moody, most women agree that women shouldn't even be in the workplace.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  93. Ian Herr

    I've worked for both, and I can say definitively that women bosses are more moody and hold grudges.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  94. David P Vernon

    Tucson, AZ – Define "better." I have had a lot of bosses, mostly men, but many women. One of the best I ever had was a woman, another, the worst I ever had, was also a woman. Go figure!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  95. Joel

    I'm not saying women bosses are the worst, but certainly the worst bosses I had were women. They were distant, selfish and only concerned with employees who were autonomous.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:12 pm |
  96. Josh from Chicago

    A good boss is a good boss. A bad boss is a bad boss. It's a non-gender issue.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  97. Julie Austin, TX

    I think this is a sexist question. I wish everyone would finally accept the fact that there are women that are bad bosses and women that are good bosses just as there are men that are good and bad. I manage 36 people and have been told that I am a "good boss". My husband on the other hand worked for a woman who only made "emotional" decisions and was absolutely impossible to work for. I wish everyone would judge someone by the content of their character and not based on their gender or race.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  98. Jake in PA

    the worst boss I ever had was a woman...just saying

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  99. Sly, from Michigan

    Let us all take a look back and see what happen in "Wall Street" and see who caused that mess, Men or Women?

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  100. michael A.

    My wife is the boss of our house, and I wouldn't have it any other way.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  101. Steve

    Well I have a boss who is a women for the last 7 years. She is not a big ris ktaker at all. She kind of goes with the flow like a lot of women do. I am married and it feels like I have to cater to both all the time.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  102. Chacha, US virgin Islands

    Definitely NOT! I am a woman and my life became a 100% miserable after my male boss was fired and replaced by a woman. MOST Women are too emotional, take everything personally and use their position to get back at people. Give me a male boss any day.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  103. Kathy

    Very possibly they do. However, a blanket statement is never entirely correct. Women very often are more organized and better able to multi-task than men. They can be much more sensitive to the underlying causes of problems.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  104. Shirley

    No. Women on average are not as objective as men and often allow emotion to affect their judgment. Of course, there are some exceptions to every rule. But I prefer male bosses and coworkers for this reason.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  105. steven p

    I once worked for under a women and she brought her personal problems and feelings to work. It was so stressful I ended up quitting. I'm sure there's good and bad bosses on both sides but that is one experience of mine.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:13 pm |
  106. Adam


    Having had 4 women bosses and 2 males bosses in the same company, a fortune 100 mind you, as a man having a woman boss is hands-down better. Not because I want my boss to act as a mother, but you used the word "democratic" and I have found they are indeed and tend to give more constructive feedback.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  107. Mindy

    I'm a woman and I found that women bosses are horrible. They constantly try to belittle you and make your life miserable to try to justify their superior role.

    Buffalo, NY

    August 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  108. Ken Snyder

    I've been out of work for over 3 years. Right now I'd be happy to have a coffee table for a boss.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  109. Larry

    I have had good and bad bosses of all genders (at least the two major ones). Good bosses put the mission first, her or his people second, and her or himself dead last. Bad bosses are bad in many different ways (kudos to Tolstoi).

    August 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  110. Edward Bassett Sr

    I think probably so Jack. My wife did a pretty good job bossing me around for 55 years 🙂

    August 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  111. dan from horseheads

    No-women worry too much about being nice as opposed to being a boss and laying the law down! They do make better cupcakes though! Lol

    August 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  112. John D

    I have had 2 female bosses and they have been nighmares. I mean, why would any company hire a woman to begin with? From what I have seen-they take way too many sick and person days, come in crying because they are upset with their husband/boyfriend, spend all day online shopping and looking at shoes, and are very manipulative. Who ever did this study is biased and must have only worked in like 2 jobs their entire life.
    Look at Hillary Clinton and Sarah Palin! Need I say more about criers, whiners and complainers who never show up at work?

    August 3, 2009 at 6:14 pm |
  113. Faisal from Cincinnati

    It depends on the job. It's not fair to say it's one way or the other, and the market you are in definitely is a big factor into that.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  114. Rich from Lansing Michigan

    During my career ,from which I recently retired, I had three male and two female bosses. The women bosses capture both the best and worst categories. The first woman boss I had, who was the best, was inspiring, interactive and supportive. The second woman boss, the worst and my last, engaged in illegal acts, was demeaning beyond words and just plain evil. Take your pick.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  115. Jim E.

    I have two female bosses and they both have one small problem:

    No matter what, they will never, never - ever– admit when they are wrong.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  116. Lois


    The boss I had that was my worst nightmare was a woman. I had one or two other female bosses who were distant runners up.

    I'd have to say no...women do not make better bosses.

    But I wouldn't say that men do either. Some human being just shouldn't be given power over others.


    August 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  117. Gary, New Jersey

    I think women make difficult bosses to work with. I have worked with women and have seen that whenever they feel that there authority is challenged they go nuts. They think it’s because they are women and that is it, when in reality they’re authority is challenged because there proposals are stupid. They do not take constructive criticism as well as men and take that “I am women hear me roar” stuff to a new level.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  118. Ken in NC

    I have been married to my boss for 20 years and she says she is a better boss than a male so I have to agree with her if I want to continue in my job as a husband and head of the family hehehe.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  119. Annie, Atlanta

    Not for other women. We may be warm, compassionate and have that sixth sense that can lead us toward the right decisions, but good grief, we can be vicious towards each other.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:15 pm |
  120. dan from horseheads

    Nope- women do make better pies though! Lol

    August 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  121. Marcial Losada

    It depends on what kind of boss you like: one who mostly listens or one who mostly talks. Men, on average, talk 2/3 of the time about themselves. Women do that only 1/3 of the time.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  122. lisa

    As a woman, I would love to say yes, women are better bosses but the few I have had have been some of the worst bosses I have ever had. I think women bosses have to constantly prove to their same sex employees who the boss is. They are much more likely to micro-manage and on the unprofessional level, talk behind your back. I have made a personal decision to never work for another woman again.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  123. Holly

    Men do make the better bosses especially for a woman employee. Most if not all the negative traits that Jack read on his program are true – the power tripping over another woman is the most offensive of all – rather than see another woman as on her team, it's just the opposite. Why, I do not know!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:16 pm |
  124. Fran of Huntington, NY

    I have had a woman boss for 16 years. The answer is NO, NO NO!!!!!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  125. Kent F.

    No. I once had 2 women bosses, and they were so busy trying to outdo one another and spread rumors about one another to get promotions that they couldn't tend to business.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  126. Binyam

    I don't think it is the sex that make a better boss, rather it is the mind set how people act when they get that position. One can find all kind of boss types in both gender.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  127. Maggie, Washington, DC

    Women definitely make better bosses. Women are more driven and therefore complete tasks and agendas more quickly and more efficiently. Naturally, women are better equipped to handle high-pressure and stressful situations - this skill is crucial for pregnancy and childbirth. Emotional strength and durability, both qualities indispensable in a boss, are are stronger in women, who tend to be less insecure about themselves (after the phase of adolescence). Strong women also tend to not let themselves be taken advantage of.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  128. Quinn

    It is not a matter of sex, but a matter of the personality and goals.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  129. Harold Cox

    your question about woman bosses.... makes no difference,some are good and some not so good with both sex...... but ! women definately make much better wives and mothers.....

    August 3, 2009 at 6:17 pm |
  130. Don

    While there are certainly differences in male and female bosses, the real problem is that far too many bosses are inept purveyors of the Peter Principle.
    Dublin, GA

    August 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  131. Victoria Rivas

    I think bosses are bosses. I have had good male bosses and good female bosses. The same goes for bad bosses. Of the worst two, while working in the computer industry, one was male (who didn't understand taking time off for a daughter with appendicitis) and one was female (who didn't understand life outside the company).

    It's funny. If you worded this, "Do white people make better bosses?" or "Do Catholics make better bosses?" you would get nothing but flak. In fact, you would never ask things like that. Why is that women can still be relegated into this type of competition?

    August 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  132. Lanaya Baker

    I used to think that she was the best boss I ever had because she also happened to be the owner. Since then I have reported directly to two owners. I still consider her the best, by a mile no less.

    She was enlightened, intelligent, a prudent risk taker, agressive and empathetic simultaneously. She did not like to admit mistakes or that she was wrong, but her ego did not keep her from doing so, unlike the men I have worked for. Their egos get them into a lot of trouble and can turn the work place into a pi–ing contest.

    And she communicated.....what a concept.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  133. Michael Roepke - Dallas, TX

    I am sure that any study of men and women would scientifically show that they are different (and that sounds like one of those things Congress would fund.)
    Whether those differences are better or worse is either a theological question or something we need the media to tell us.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  134. MARK

    My first boss, a woman, was instrumental in mentoring me in a way that no other male boss has ever come close. I feel lucky, because my second boss, a man, was the worst I have ever had, even after 24 years in the field.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  135. mark in tacoma wa.

    Do women make better bosses? No. And that's all you'll get from me on the subject.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:18 pm |
  136. Stephanie Chambers

    I would much rather work for a man than a woman. Perhaps I had several toxic female bosses in succession, but I find them to be more insecure about their position, jealously guard information about a project in its entirety, do not allow as much autonomy, and are not as generous with praise and credit for the work contributed to the success of a business endeavor.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  137. Shelley in Potomac, MD

    I think it is generational. I found that "women bosses" in the 1980's were almost vicious and hyper-masculine in their quest to validate their capability. God help you if you crossed them in any way. The field has definitely leveled – just look at the differences in dress. In the 1980's we all dressed like men – now it's ok to be a woman.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  138. Sonya

    I think we all have different work scenarios and it varies from place to place. I work at a busy veterinarian and my own boss is a female. I dont think she meets the requirements to run a whole hospital because she is very narrow minded and lacks much power authority. So in my personal experience i would say NO!!!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  139. Lori

    Wow, are we still asking this question in 2009??? I've got your answer for you – YES and NO. Man (pun intended), the real question is "in today's global economy, full of problems that can't be managed by any one country, let alone business, what QUALITIES make a great boss?" Your stand in host said it best – "I'd like to think I'm warm and independent." Well, building on her thinking, I'd like to think a man could be warm and independent and considerate of what others might need.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  140. Steph L. from Orlando

    Yes. But so do men.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  141. Ed

    From my experience, the best supervisor I ever had was a female. Then, again, the worst supervisor I ever had was a female. I have seen female supervisors treat female direct reports more harshly than their male counterparts. It is totally dependent on the person.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:19 pm |
  142. Nita

    NO! NO! NO! Did I say NO?! I have had several women bosses and all of them felt they had something to prove. Micromanaged to death! And scolded for they chairs not being straighten after a meeting, and in coordinating colors! Are you serious???

    Not only that, but she had to know every person I was talking to in the office and why. Before someone can come to me for verifications, the unofficial rule was to first inform her. WHY?!!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  143. Frank

    Many women who are moved into a leadership position cannot shed themselves of the view that they will never be good bosses. Women in a position of authority have too much to live up to because of the centuries of brain washing, that they must act like men in similar roles. It isn't the women who have the problem, but everyone else who expects women to act like men.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  144. Dan

    I don't believe so I worked for company for 30+years and the last 5 or 6 years I had a women boss,now I have no job! she is younger than my daughter and I think she had somthing to prove or just a power trip.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  145. Merrick

    In the last 3 part-time jobs, I've had female bosses and supervisors. Working for most made a great positive impact in my life. Well.... Until I wanted a promotion and realized I couldn't get it unless I was just like them. Hmmm they sure stick together!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:20 pm |
  146. Rick C. Chicago

    Absolutely. Women bosses seem to rationalize the complex situations at work better than men. Whether it be business or employee related, I feel that having a woman as a boss (especially if she was level headed and open to improvements) could definitely make a business successful.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  147. Susan

    Interesting question that really doesn't have much relavence in my opinion.I have worked for both and I honestly don't see much difference There are good and there are bad.I only worry about my own performance as a manager and hope that anyone who has worked for me over the past 20 years would have good things to say about how I managed them.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:21 pm |
  148. Mary

    Whenever I have had a female boss, I was definetely more stressed. Women bosses always had an underlying cattyness that kept me worried and miserable, even though I was a great employee and very friendly. On the other hand, every male boss I ever had has been laid back, non-threatening and fair. Men generally keep emotions out of situations so my stress level was always extremely low. They seem to make decisions based on reality and not "gut feelings" like women. I am a stay-at-home mom right now, but when I go back to work I will definetely be looking to have a male boss.
    Who knows....Maybe I will be a female boss someday myself – I think I would be great having learned lessons from women on how NOT to be!
    Mary – Silverdale, WA

    August 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  149. Bill Boyd

    In re "do women make better bosses"

    No, they carry daggers and use them only in the back, and most frequently on other women.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  150. Steph

    Yes. Smart women make incredible bosses. They challenge you to do your best, they acknowledge your effort and are generous with time and knowledge. I've found in the workplace that women who lack confidence in themselves, lack confidence in who they hire or team with.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:22 pm |
  151. Thomas

    I had many male and female bosses during my life. Some of the male were really good and some were really bad. Some of my female bosses were really good and some were really bad. The gender question is a complete nonsense. Behind is the same philosophy in which people are generalizing behavior characteristic based on gender, race, age… People always flee to such judgments if they have nothing else to show for.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  152. Charris Greece

    My recent experience says YES,
    they have the woman behaviour so they can manage things in an smart way, but if the get angry they can be more dangerous than any man, so why do you need the man? And yes they might act with more feelings but its ok we are not in a war!!!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:23 pm |
  153. jp

    I have had 3 female bosses, and as a male, I was made to feel differently than my female counterparts working for the same women. I beleived I could not have a good female boss. However, I just took a new job in aerospace and I am floored by my new female boss. She is fair, very technical (more so than some of the men), results driven without being overbearing and engaged in the work at hand. So far, my mind has been changed.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  154. Chris

    As a woman, I've worked for male bosses my whole life and it's always been a boys club. If I didn't join in, I was told I must think I'm better than everyone. Well I am. I run my own business now.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  155. Tony

    For the most part, women absolutely do not make better bosses. I'm a man who has worked as a legal secretary for more than 25 years. The most difficult work relationships I've had have been with women–attorneys and non-attorney management personnel. While there are some women who handle responsibility and the resultant stress very well, most women become harsh, bitter, overly aggressive, rude, mean spirited, condescending, bullying, manipulative, liars. . . . Most women are too "conscious" and defensive of their gender and, even in 2009, manifest negative traits to mask their insecurities. Men–for the most part–just take things as they come, even if they are not good managers their angst is usually not gender based. Most female support staff I've encountered hate working for women, some even refuse assignments that involve working for women. I could go on and on, but I don't want to sound like a misogynist. I won't mention the women who cry, or use their sexuality as leverage, or the young women who manipulate older professional men by playing the little girl so that the older, successful man embraces them as a daughter. Come on ladies.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  156. George Hicks

    I am a professional male in my middle 40s, and I have balanced my career between marketing and teaching. All of my most memorable and remarkable bosses have been women, because they have either been the best bosses or the absolute worst bosses.

    A good boss needs to be inspiring and empathic, and it seems that women have a unique command of these qualities.

    The characteristics that have made my best bosses – all women – were understanding, encouragement, genuine personal interest in me and my potential, and a collaborative spirit.

    The characteristics that have made my worst bosses – again, all women – were vindictiveness, paranoia, rigidity, exclusivity, and an overwhelming inside/outside mentality.

    My male bosses have been, for the most part, fair but uninspiring, somewhat self-indulgent and entitled, and certainly not memorable.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  157. Jeff

    Based on my experience... no. There is a definate tension between women bosses and younger (prettier) women employees in most cases. As a man I find its more difficult to bond with a female boss. I have about as much interest in Oprah as they tend to have about pro sports. And forget the weekend golf outing.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:24 pm |
  158. Cindy Thomson

    Women are not all the same any more than men are. This is a sexitst question.


    August 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  159. Noni

    Male bosses are better then female bosses because women abuse their authority and look down on other females. Through my experience female bosses have shown very little compassion to other female coworkers

    August 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  160. megan

    Heck, no! As a woman, I think I can be fair when I say some of the worst bosses that I've ever had, have been women. Becasue they are emotional, they tend to be more vindictive, manipulative, petty, not to mention very controlling. And, in my experience, more likely to play favorites. But I've also had some pretty obtuse and oblivious male bosses, so maybe it evens out. Really, it all depends on the individual.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:25 pm |
  161. Mia from New York, NY

    I'm a woman who works for a woman. I've never had a better boss, but most of my co-workers think she's ignorant and too aggressive, simply because women are judged differently. Despite our male-dominated field (building/construction), she broke through the Glass Ceiling. So any woman who can do that brings something to the table that male bosses simply can't. Whether or not my co-workers recognize that is not her issue; it's theirs.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  162. Marjorie, Fort Myers, FL

    Of Course, Women are better bosses because we are better listeners, better leaders, better motivators, and our planning is much better than men. Therefore, saying that women are too sensitive and emotional to be a leader is out of question. Instead, we listen and we analyze rather than act spontaneously like men do.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:27 pm |
  163. Yuan Shu

    When I first came to America as a graduate student, I was surprised to find that women professors were by and large more demanding and high-strung while men were more accommodating and laid-back. And my impression was by no means unique. If women still felt it necessary to prove (their manhood, as John Silber once told Leslie Stahl) as professors, they surely feel more so as managers?.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  164. Kim in South Carolina

    Hey Jack,

    Of course women are good bosses-they pull double duty which gives them lots of practice (...at being the boss at home and at work)! If you have to "ask" the question, you must not know any, so suck it up Cafferty! Maybe you need a woman boss to help you with those questions before you hit the air waves.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:29 pm |
  165. genfactor

    The best boss I've ever had is a woman but 3 of the worst boses I've ever had were also women. It's been forty years! How much longer will we have to put up with this us vs. them nonsense? How many more years will we have to be the conquests instead of lovers, adversaries instead of allies and competitors instead of companions that the male and femalechauvinist turned us into. Granted I wasn't born until the late 80's but already I'm sick of this. It's not about gender.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:30 pm |
  166. Jane

    As a woman, I am sorry to say that in my experience women are very difficult to work for. Undoubtably because of my age, I reported to women CEOs who were forced to act like men. They were cold, had no compassion, and were usually like ice. They were horrible bosses!!! However, now that about 30 some years have gone by, there isn't as much of a need for women to "prove" themselves to men or anyone else. Women are more secure in the "man's" world. However, a woman boss with other women reporting to them still have a very tough job. Women working for women is still very difficult. The competition and back biting can be fierce.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:31 pm |
  167. Anesti Kalagidis

    Gender has nothing to do with who makes a better boss or is better at a job over another person, but how competent, a good communicator, and how professional a person is makes all the difference. Education, experience, values, and communication skills makes a person better at something than another. Did you ever here the expression "the empty wagon rattles the most." There are too many chiefs who have not worked their way up in the ranks the old fashion way and that's working hard and having the competency to achieve a goal, but know how to work a room.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:34 pm |
  168. Hal Shorey

    Jack, It is commonly accepted among leadership experts that no one leadership style or set of characteristics is the best across all situations and organizational contexts. So, altough we may all be able to come up with personal examples of men or women who are the best and worst bosses, to base probable success on gender is quite a stretch...but then I am assuming that bosses actually are true leaders.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  169. Akrofi

    Women have some serious weaknesses which can be really dangerous as a boss.A woman, no matter what she is/has can always be emotiomal.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  170. Charlize O.

    Women are not good at being bosses, period. I've had both male and female bosses. Female bosses in general are extremely emotional, and waste lots of valuable time on their appearance, makeup and clothes (check how many times a man wastes time checking and arranging his hair, clothing and face, as opposed to a woman). Men are great at explaining complex things, like tendencies, statistics and charts easily and in a fun, sharp and interesting manner, whereas women in their attempt to "be better than men" overdo everything, theorize way too much and end up being boring and ineffective as leaders. Also, males in general are decisive, sharp practical and imposing, while a woman boss is very difficult to be taken seriously, and if she looks good and worries too much about her appearance, she's even less authoritative. Also, it is an undeniable scientific fact that an average man's voice pitch and speech pattern is soothing and nice to hear. as opposed to a woman's average voice, which is annoying and dazing when you hear such high pitches for a relatively long time. Also, women in general tend to complain and criticize too much (check Hillary and Palin when campaigning) whereas men tend to keep their anger to themselves and act to solve problems immediately, instead of complaining and whining and criticizing. Also, you feel like you can tell a male boss almost anything (men are open minded in general) whereas women are difficult to open up to, because they can be easily offended and take things personally. And, in general, aside from being far more effective and less emotional, most of my male bosses have been fun and interesting people, whereas women bosses have always been stuck-up, extremely boring and uninteresting individuals with no life other than their jobs.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:35 pm |
  171. Mark Kollra

    Yes. I think Women do make Better Bosses because they are not hinderd or interfierd with such thoughts as sex or promisuety, and I think they should get paid more – because they'er they are better abstract thinkers then men are. After all, Women Bosses dress better and look and smell better too than men do, and they sit up straiter then then men will ever do. After all, what do i know – I'm just a guy!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:36 pm |
  172. Gary In Lexington

    No, I do not believe gender has anything to do with the success or failure of a manager, regardless of the level attained. It is all about personnel management skills, communication skills, style, support, training, mentoring, experience, knowledge, the degree to which you empower people, displayed trust, constructive personnel reviews with proper follow-up, etc. None of the aforementioned is gender driven or gender sensitive. Outstanding managers come in all shapes, sizes, colors, backrounds, etc. To select one gender over another, is sort of like picking one race over another...not very logical, intelligent nor is it "scientifically" proven.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  173. Smoke Ace

    I have found that women for the most part are far too emotional to be effective bosses. Of course this is not absolute, as the second best boss I've worked for was a woman, but all the boses I would not work for again are all women. I find that women tend to allow their emotions to cloud there judgement and compromise their professionalism. As a result of faultering to their emotions, women often make decisions that are not always conducive with good business. In that, I do beleive that race and ethnicity play a considerable factor as well as sex. In my years of being in the workforce, I have found that male or female, Hispanics make the worst boses for those who are non-Hispanic or non-Caucasian. I know that some would find this offensive, but this is my truth.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:37 pm |
  174. Chas

    There’s a lady making a claim and then there are the bosses I’ve worked for. I’ll go by my own experience, thanks. I’ve had bosses of both genders who were awful. Come to think it of it, ALL of them have been awful! Intolerant, unreasonable, overly passive or overly aggressive, usually liars, and finally, simply incompetent. These various traits apparently necessary to becoming a boss in the place, regardless of gender.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:42 pm |
  175. Kim in Dodge City, KS

    Most women are already bosses, they are wives.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:43 pm |
  176. Tee

    There are good and bad in male and female bosses. In most woman bosses I have experience the female boss had a need to prove themselves when working with male counter part or exert their authority more so than men. I have a female supervisor who feels like she knows everything and she is always right, and will fight with everyone until they get their way. When you find women that have insecurities, you will find a female supervisor harder to work with.


    August 3, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  177. Lynn

    Considering that the shape the US is in these days is due to decisions made by mostly "male bosses", I think this question answers itself. The better questions these days might be "How many people think they have competent bosses?" or "How many people think they have honest bosses?" or "How many people think their bosses deserve their bonuses"?

    August 3, 2009 at 6:44 pm |
  178. Paul

    I've had bad female bosses and bad male bosses. I have not had a good female boss, but one or two good male bosses. I think it depends on the job, though... the situations where I say my bosses are good are based solely on compensation and the challenge the role offered. No reason a woman would be any better or any worse at being a boss... I find the whole question rather offensive. And I'm a dude.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  179. Eric R

    Not through my experiences. I have worked under bad bosses that were male and female, however I have found that male bosses, no matter how bad, will give it to you straight. Females have alot of drama, and it is never their fault when something wrong. It made me sick.

    Eric R.
    Towson, MD

    August 3, 2009 at 6:46 pm |
  180. Joyce

    I worked for a woman and it was a nightmare. When got angry over little things, would throw things, always hired her friends and treated them like royalty. The employees that stayed just tolerated her. Sometimes she was generous and nice, 2 days later look out. She hired her boyfriend to come to work for her and it really got bad. I left after 5 years. I will never work for another woman boss or business owner. Life is too short for that kind of stress!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  181. Steve in Texas

    The old saying "If Momma ain't happy, no one's happy!" definately applies to female bosses.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  182. Joel

    I think a blanket statement categorically claiming one gender is better than the other in work tasks, especially leadership and management. That said, I can say that I have had horrible supervisors of both genders and I have had wonderful supervisors, both male and female. Let's have a discussion on leadership styles and managerial techniques that work and don't work, and drop the gender issue, seeing as I consider it a non-starter.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  183. Benjamin

    Women act on emotion only. Horrible bosses, and since many hate men, that's torture for us.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  184. JJ

    It depends on the woman. I've had good female bosses and bad.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:47 pm |
  185. Lisa

    I'm 46, female, and I've had about the same number of men and women as bosses. I wouldn't go either way but would agree with the article that more masculine traits in bosses are much more effective. The bosses who were least effective were those who were not good analytical thinkers and tended to take things too personally and were rather passive in their decision-making and communication style. Can't handle beta bosses, male or female. Give me a good solid alpha and I'm ready to learn and be productive.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  186. Clark

    can't make a blanket statement that fits every case .... but in general men don't mind having a woman boss .... but in general women don't like having a woman boss.

    AND the bigger issue .... the more women in a work envirnment tends to produce more drama and more grudges and more back biting.

    it is best to have a balance of the genders or more men ... given the choice.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  187. Peter

    Boy, I have had two women bosses and they were mean and obnoxious. But both these women were in their late forties and did not have a partner. Perhaps that was one of the reasons!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  188. Greg

    This such a loaded question, there is no clear cut answer to it. There are way too many variables to consider to accurately guage if women are better managers than men. The type of job being done, the individuals qualifications, temperament, education level, organizational structure, etc. There are plenty of bad male, and female bosses, you need to look at it on a case by case basis and make a determination for that one boss, and not make blanket statements like this.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:49 pm |
  189. Ralph Ferrell

    No. I had a good job and was about 55 days into my 60 day probationary period. Everyone in supervision and also all other employees liked me. I was told that. I worked with zero 0 days off, 7 days a week, plus 2 to 4 double shifts a week. Had no prior violations of any kind, no disciplinary problems, no tardiness. Worked all Easter wekend doubles as asked, did not want to. Then about day 55 while working with another employee, stepped onto a lift truck fork, and was caught by the plant manager lady. She demanded I be fired. Best I could get was a chance to resign or be fired. 1 violation. Zero priors. She had a cold heart.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  190. Sue from Redwood City

    I have no preference. I have had both sexes for bosses with both men and women in both the best and worst categories. I think it depends on the individual, not the gender!

    August 3, 2009 at 6:51 pm |
  191. Linda Feldman

    My experience is that if the woman came up through the ranks in a male-oriented culture, she was just as insecure as her male counterpart and just as tone-deaf. If she has only known a female work culture, she tends to have a great deal of sympathy for the incompetent worker who translates criticism into a "hostile workplace." The best female boss is someone who is comfortable in her skin as a woman, isn't afraid of being tough but fair and is able to admit a mistake.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:53 pm |
  192. Kimberly

    I do not believe gender is the reason why one is either a good or bad boss. Both males and females can be effective or ineffective, it is their personality and leadership abilities that determine if they are a good boss, not gender specifically.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  193. Rachel

    Every woman boss I have worked for has been far superior to the men that I have worked for – with that said – I think it depends on personalities....

    August 3, 2009 at 6:55 pm |
  194. Judy in Tampa

    I have been lucky throughout my career to have worked with more than one excellent female boss. Based on my experiences working for both men and women, I'd have to say my preference is to work with a female boss for the same reasons you state, such as collaboration and fairness.

    Behavioral style plays a key role in how people manage the employee/boss relationship and I would not thrive well with a dominant style of any gender.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:56 pm |
  195. Mike

    Having worked for women for several years and based on input I've received from other women, as a generality I would have to say no. I find that woman in power tend to emulate men and often the worst qualities of men. Women talk A LOT more than men at meetings, little of which has anything to do with work. Also while women are excellent multi-taskers, they often cannot focus on the task at hand and you end up with multiple projects in various states of completion. I also worked closely with a woman who blamed her lack of confidence on her female boss who was downright bipolar and constantly berated her. That being said my worst boss was a man, my best boss was a man and I have worked with some excellent women.

    August 3, 2009 at 6:58 pm |
  196. RBR Princeton, NJ

    My own experience with a woman boss was one of unbearable stress & pain. This woman was just plain mean & enjoyed bullying & belittling everyone around her. As a woman, I don't think one gender is better than the other; it depends on the person's character & code of ethics. Some men identify so completely with their jobs that it's difficult for them to see the human side of the picture, as they are so competitive with each other. Women tend to see the whole picture & multi-task far better than men. Their organizational skills are also far superior. Aside from my hateful boss, most women are empathetic & understanding, therefore making for a more pleasant office experience.

    August 3, 2009 at 7:00 pm |