Workplace Parity

08.07.141:47 PM ET

Who’s the Boss?

She’s not. And it’s still less likely that she wants to be.

Twenty-four women are currently CEOs of Fortune 500 companies, up from 20 in 2013 (and only one in 1998). In keeping with these nominal gains is a slow progression in workplace gender preference. In 1953, Gallup showed that two-thirds of American adults would prefer a male boss if they had a choice in a new job (25 percent said it made no difference, and 5 percent said they would prefer a female boss). As of this past November, a plurality didn’t care, but to the rest, a male boss won over a female boss by 35 percent to 23 percent. Perhaps surprisingly, women are more likely to prefer a male boss: Half of men say they have no preference when it comes to their boss’ gender – but only 32 percent of women agree – and 40 percent of women say they prefer a male boss, compared to 29 percent of men. At the same time, Pew’s research data shows that women are less likely to want to be in charge, so there is little hope of major change – in reality or perception – anytime soon. If there is a sign of hope, it may be that the ambition gender gap is smallest among millennials.