More than 3 in 4 employees in Singapore prefer working for a male boss: Study

Most employees in Singapore still prefer having a male boss, a new report by recruitment firm Randstad has revealed.

The findings would appear to back up a report last week that three-quarters of female employees in Singapore feel that women are under-represented in workplace leadership positions.

According to Randstad's global Q3 2016 Workmonitor report, some 76 per cent of employees in Singapore surveyed stated that they prefer to work under a male boss, the fourth-highest proportion among the 33 countries in the study.

This was higher than the global average of 65 per cent who preferred a male superior.

Such sentiments were shared even by women in Singapore, with 74 per cent saying that they had a strong preference for male direct bosses, surpassing the much lower global average of 58 per cent.

The study was conducted from July 20 to Aug 4 this year via an online questionnaire among employees aged 18-65 who worked at least 24 hours a week in a paid job.

It revealed that the sentiment in Singapore was broadly in line with other countries in the region, with a significant majority of respondents in Japan (80 per cent), Hong Kong (78 per cent), Malaysia (73 per cent) and China (69 per cent) all stating that they preferred working for a male boss.

Mr Michael Smith, managing director for Randstad Singapore, Hong Kong and Malaysia, expressed concern, saying that the results demonstrated a "worrying trend".

"Corporate and government initiatives are just a start, but for real change to take place, the issues around gender equality need to be recognised and mind-sets need to evolve," he said.

Despite numerous reports highlighting the continuous pay gap between the sexes, the study also found that 79 per cent of employees globally felt that both men and women in similar roles were rewarded equally. 70 per cent also feel that both women and men are equally supported when applying for a job or when asking for a promotion.

On a more positive note, employees in all the economies in the study displayed strong support for working with both male and female colleagues.

Globally, 87 per cent of employees said that they prefer to work in a gender-diverse team, while 84 per cent believed that gender-diverse teams perform better than male-only or female-only units.

"I expect to see these sentiments slowly change for the better over the coming years as traditional family structures, where the notion of men being the sole family breadwinner, are starting to be challenged in the region," Mr Smith said.