Title

Are Female Supervisors Good for Employee Job Experiences, Health, and Well-Being

Document Type

Article

Publication Date

2005

Publication Title

Women In Management Review

Department

Sociology & Anthropology

Abstract

Purpose – Aims to investigate managers’ reports of their job experiences, wellbeing, and health outcomes as a function of whether they had either a male or a female supervisor.

Design/methodology/approach – Self-report survey data were collected from male (n =328) and female (n =222) managers; these managers, in turn, had either a male or a female supervisor.

Findings – Consistent with the hypothesis, two (gender of participant) by two (gender of supervisor) analyses of covariance revealed that all managers with female supervisors reported significantly higher levels of mastery and social support at work, and lower levels of work to family conflict and depression. Women with female supervisors also reported significantly higher levels of job autonomy and work absences than did women with male supervisors or men with either male or female supervisors. In an effort to explain these outcomes, the mediational role of work-based social support was explored as well as the gender ratio of the subordinate's work environment. Findings suggest that, for both men and women, there are some modest benefits associated with having a female supervisor and with working in a more female-dominated environment.

Originality/value – The study is one of the few to focus on possible work-related outcomes associated with the gender of the supervisor and the first to examine if there are any associated health and well-being effects for their subordinates.

ISSN

0964-9425