Australian workers favour male bosses but want to work in gender diverse teams

Quarterly Randstad Workmonitor Research Released

27th September 2016

The majority of Australian employees would prefer a male boss but want to work in mixed-gender teams, according to the latest Randstad Workmonitor from HR and recruitment specialists, Randstad

When asked about gender preference, 65% of Australian respondents said they prefer a male as a direct manager, yet 90% reported a preference to work in a gender-diverse team. 

The majority of Australians surveyed claimed gender diverse teams achieve better results than single-sex teams, with 83% claiming mixed-gender teams are more results-oriented. This was well ahead of the global average, with only 68% of respondents globally believing mixed-gender teams achieve better results. 

According to the research, Australians ranked highly in the world on gender diversity, sitting 8th on the table of the other 33 countries across Europe, Asia-Pacific and the Americas, well ahead of our neighbours New Zealand at 27th place. 

Australian employees overall don’t perceive a significant difference in the general treatment of men and women in the workplace, with 84% believing men and women are equally supported in their organisation, and 83% claimed both sexes are equally rewarded in similar positions, ahead of global averages. 

However, gender bias was still considered an issue in more than half of Australian workplaces, with 60% indicating that men are favoured over women when two candidates equally qualify for the same job. 

“While it’s very encouraging to learn that Australians are generally feeling supported at work irrespective of gender, and we actually have a clear preference for gender diverse teams, we still have a way to go when it comes to genuine gender equality in the workforce,” said Frank Ribuot, CEO Australia & New Zealand at Randstad.

“We ranked highly compared to other countries in the world on perceptions around gender diversity, but men still seem to be favoured in leadership roles and perceived as more likely to get ahead than their female counterparts when being considered for roles with the same skill sets. 

“Interestingly, more than half of Australian employees believe gender equality increases with the seniority of the job. This figure could be a promising sign that we’re on our way to supporting female employees in senior roles, but it is actually concerning for women starting out in the workforce. We need to ensure women are being given equal opportunities to reach those senior roles in the first place.”

Australia fared better on gender diversity than other developed countries like Japan, where 80% prefer a male boss, and we are ahead of New Zealand on most topics relating to gender equality.  

Randstad Workmonitor Q3 research highlights:

  • 65% of Australians (65% globally; 58% New Zealand) say they prefer a male as a direct manager. And 64% of Australians point out their direct manager’s gender is male.
  • 90% of Australians (87% globally, 87% New Zealand) prefer to work in a gender-diverse team. And 83% of Australians (84% globally; 81% New Zealand) believe gender-diverse teams achieve better results than single-sex teams 
  • 84% of Australians (81% globally; 76% New Zealand) believe men and women are treated equally in their organisations. And 83% of Australians believe at their employer, men and women are rewarded equally in similar positions
  • 77% of Australians (70% globally, 65% New Zealand) think women and men are equally supported when applying for a job or when asking for a promotion. Yet 60% of Australians stated men are favoured over women when two candidates equally qualify for a job 
  • 57% of Australians (61% globally; 46% New Zealand) believe gender equality increases with seniority of the role
  • 85% of Australians (75% globally; 80% New Zealand) agree their direct manager plays an important role in setting the team spirit. And 79% of Australians (73% globally; 74% New Zealand) agree their direct manager advocates company culture and sets the example.

To access the full global research report go to

Frank Ribot, CEO of Australia & New Zealand at Randstad, is available for interviews.

The quarterly Randstad Workmonitor

The Randstad Workmonitor & Mobility Index is published quarterly, covering 33 countries around the world, making both local and global trends in jobseeker confidence and mobility visible over time. The quantitative study is conducted via an online questionnaire among a population aged 18-65, working a minimum of 24 hours a week in a paid job (not self-employed).

The minimal sample size is 400 interviews per country, using Survey Sampling International. Research for the second wave of 2016 was conducted from July 20th till August 4th 2016.

About Randstad 

Randstad is one of the world’s leading recruitment & HR services specialists, passionate about matching people with organisations that will develop their potential and matching organisations with people that will take their business to the next level.

The Randstad Group employs over 560,000 people every day with the aim of 'shaping the world of work'. For further information visit