The best thing to happen to your career is having a female boss

It's an unfortunate byproduct of the times we grew up in, but when I was younger and someone spoke about 'the boss' I instantly pictured a strong man in a flash suit with a defined jawline.

A little later in life, I pictured Bruce Springsteen, a strong man in a flash denim vest with a defined jawline.

But one thing I never imagined, embarrassingly, is a woman. It's hardly surprising though, with most media subliminally telling us that boss = bloke. From Don Draper to Gordon Gekko, film and TV has offered up plenty of CE-bro's and not many chicks-in-charge.

To make matters worse, when we do see it, it's a lazy caricature, CC: Miranda Priestly in The Devil Wears Prada.    

So it's somewhat ironic that since entering the workforce I've predominantly had female bosses. Smart, inspiring, attentive and without ego, these leaders have been the best thing for my career and I wouldn't have it any other way.

Catch the collective vibe

Anyone's who has worked in an office knows that the company shouting lunch is akin to Christmas morning on the level of excitement it generates. Sure, someone with a company credit card has just ordered $79 worth of Domino's, but it feels special.

In my first proper job, our boss was highly in tune with the collective office spirit. Any dip in morale was deftly addressed. Sometimes it was free lunch mentioned above, other times she'd give us the afternoon off or simply ask how everyone was going.  

Meanwhile, my first male boss was a head-in-the-sand type, who failed to realise that bad workplace vibes resulted in six staff leaving over two weeks.

Employee engagement

We can all agree that no matter how much you love your job, eventually it just becomes work.


No amount of "bring your dog to work" days can hide the fact you sit in a cubicle for forty hours a week.

Which makes employee engagement so crucial and once again, women are on top when it comes to inspiring the troops. Don't believe me? Well, the proof is in the proverbial pudding.

A 2015 Gallup poll surveyed 27 million employees and found that under female managers, 35 per cent of female employees are engaged in their jobs compared to 29 per cent of male employees.

Meanwhile, under male managers, that engagement dipped to 31 per cent of female employees are engaged and 25 per cent of male.

Multitask for days

Multitasking is a skill that never fails to amaze me. To this day, the minute I start typing a text, the rest of the world melts away, like I'm stuck in the Sunken Place from Get Out.

I am absolutely unable to do two things at once and I've seen similar situations play out at the office. A former male boss of mine had a rule that he wouldn't get into work until midday, as he needed time to read the papers and watch the morning news undisturbed. That sounds lovely, but in a modern workplace, rocking up at 12 can cause chaos when you've got a whole team reliant on your decision making.

Conversely, when I worked in TV, my female boss was a machine. She'd simultaneously listen to story pitches, respond to emails, scan news websites and throw up fun facts about her favourite dead rock stars. It was impressive to watch.

Praise be

In this day and age, when everyone is typically working more for less, you can't underestimate the importance of positive feedback. While some people may groan and lament the rise of the 'precious snowflake' this isn't about being mollycoddled, simply about being appreciated.

In my experience, female bosses have been more open and communicative, therefore more comfortable complimenting their employees for a job well done. The aforementioned Gallup report backs this up, the study finding that female managers are 1.17 times more likely to praise their employees at least once every week.

The bottom line

What have we learnt today? Ultimately, the best man for a job may not be a man at all and it may not be a woman either, it's whoever is most qualified and able.

But given women are still behind the eight ball when to comes to landing top spot, it's time we started making serious change towards rectifying this inequality.

Plus, I reckon if we were to ask the original Boss, Mr Springsteen, he'd agree that ladies were in fact Born To Run (the workplace).