How’s this for click bait? But there was some study that said that people (yes, this includes women) don’t prefer to have a woman as a boss. Of course, the femibots start frothing at the mouth, but all the frothing on the planet won’t change the facts.

First, for the impatient folks, the TL;DR:

I enjoy having women as coworkers, but I prefer not to work under them (modulo exceptions, but see below). As for the why, well, just read, okay? It’ s not that long.

I myself have absolutely no issue with female co-workers. Hell, I wish there were more women in my field, but close-to-the-metal systems engineering doesn’t seem to appeal to most females. Maybe because it’s a bit cerebral and unemotional. But I absolutely do not prefer to work for a female boss. Not because I think there can’t be any good female bosses, but (I do speak from experience) generally women in leading positions depend too much on emotions, which leads to irrational decisions. There are good female leaders out there (I have worked for some), but they tend to be the exception to the rule. If your workplace is in any way meritocratic, those people will rise to the top anyway and I wouldn’ t mind it much because gender is irrelevant in that setting.

I’ve worked for terrible female leads, but also really awesome ones. The awesome ones were rare and a joy to work for/with, but the terrible ones always required special manoeuvring and a dash of politics. I detest politics in the workplace because it will always cloud issues and things devolve into 4d chess. Women in general (note that I’m not talking about the exceptions!) will be perfectly prepared to shoot down perfectly good solutions to problems if they don’t like the sales pitch, even though such things shouldn’t be sold. Also, in general (observe the previous caveat) women tend to be really unforgiving about mistakes and mishaps. On average, men see failings as moments of learning and improvement and will adjust accordingly. Most women won’t. Every failure is fatal and should be micromanaged. Almost like a red rag in front of a bull. Also, the potential for panic (worst thing you can have) when things go awry is a lot higher.

Note that the above is from personal experience, and should in no way be taken as the complete truth. There’ s undoubtedly way more at play here and I’m probably just scratching the surface.

There’s also the whole #metoo thing. Working for female leads can be a minefield for men. Say or do the wrong thing, however insignificant, a harassment allegation is quickly made and the burden of proof lies firmly on the accused, and not the accuser. Especially if the accuser is in a position of power. Men need to be really careful nowadays. Since I am a blunt and direct bastard (comes with being Dutch, it seems), this is something that I consider as well. I may very well step on a few snowflake toes without realizing it (again, experience), and then my career could be shot. I would rather avoid that, and it seems I’m not alone.

So yeah, enjoy this unpopular opinion of mine. And no, I don’t care if it rubs you the wrong way. You know what? I’ll make this a new blog category.