The major focus of corporates today is to diversify teams across levels to acquire access to a bigger talent pool. What matters is a high-performing, inclusive workforce where age, gender, race, physical disability, ethnicity, and even sexual orientation do not matter. What is needed is a great leader who is communicative, confident, assertive and has the ability to take quick decisions to drive businesses.
Taking all of the above into account, what then is an employee’s take on diversity at the workplace? Would one prefer working with a male manager or female manager or not really bother about who one works with?
A Shine.com survey titled Male vs Female Mana g er threw up some interesting insights. When asked if they preferred to work with a male or a female manager, more than half (53%) said that gender did not really matter to them. Only 27% found it easy to work with male bosses and 20% felt that women employees were more comfortable working with women bosses.
Over 1,500 employees were interviewed for the Shine.com survey from across India. They were represented from all sectors and had work experience ranging from 0 to 20 years.
As many as 73% survey participants said that the personality of the leader was more important than his or her gender. It did not matter to them if their team head was a woman or a man. Only 19% said that the personality of a leader was not important to them and the remaining 8% were unsure.
Even where performance was concerned, 64% said that their boss’s gender did not affect the way they performed at work. Only 20% said that they were able to communicate better, engage and work freely with a female boss and 16% added that they were unable to express themselves at times and felt that their women supervisors were bossy.
When asked if a male boss was better at employee engagement than a female head, 44% said that their manager’s gender did not impact them. About 30% felt female bosses were better at employee engagement and possessed the ability to communicate better with them and encourage them to improve their performance. As many as 26% were of the view that male bosses were better because of their ability to lead and manage.
Where assessment was concerned, 63% employees were of the view that their appraisals or salaries were by no means dependent on their manager’s gender. Only 20% felt that male bosses were more practical and assessed their work fairly when it came to appraisals and salary hikes. Seventeen per cent said that female bosses promoted better pay equality between men and women.
The fact that there are hardly any differences between men and women leaders was also highlighted in a study by Pew Research Centre titled What Makes a Good Leader and Does Gender Matter? Chief leadership qualities, regardless of gender, were honesty, intelligence, organisational skills and faster decision-making.
This report said that both men and women were effective spokespersons for their organisations. No data existed to prove that a woman could not work as well as a man, could not mentor others; or was not willing to take risks.
Larger gender gaps, however, emerged when it came to traits such as compassion, innovation and ambition, according to Pew Research. As many as 66% women said being compassionate was absolutely essential in a leader compared to 47% men. Some 61% considered innovation to be important compared to 51% men. Women (57%) were also more likely than men (48%) to say that ambition was an essential for leaders. About 63% millennial women and 61% Gen X women thought ambition was an essential leadership trait.