Most Have No Gender Preference for Coworkers

December 27, 2013 ( – Most employees say that it does not matter whether their coworkers are men or women, according to a recent survey.

The survey, conducted by Pew Research Center, reveals that 78% of men and 76% of women say they have no gender preference when it comes to coworkers. However, 22% of respondents say that gender matters, with male coworkers being preferred by both men and women, according to Rich Morin, senior editor at the center’s Social & Demographic Trends Project.

The survey results show that men who express a coworker gender preference are twice as likely to say they would mostly prefer having other men as coworkers than women (14% vs. 7%). In addition, the survey results find that for women with a coworker gender preference, about one in five (18%) say they prefer their coworkers to be men. Only 5% say they would mostly prefer to work with other women.

Age can also have a bearing on a person’s coworker gender preference, says Morin. Millennial and Generation Y adults, those between the ages of 18 and 32, are less likely to prefer working with male coworkers. About one in 10 (11%) of this age group say they want to work mostly with men, compared with 19% of those from Generation X, 16% of Baby Boomers and 21% of the Silent Generation.

With regard to other age groups, the survey finds that one in five of Generation X women favor male coworkers over female ones (22% vs. 3%). Morin says this is larger than the share of Boomer men (13%) or Millennials, regardless of gender (men 11%, women 12%) who would rather work mostly with men.

Women of the Silent Generation (adults ages 66 and older) are more likely than Millennial men to favor male co-workers (20% vs. 11%). The sample of Silent Generation men was too small to analyze.

The survey queried 2,002 adults across the United States by phone and was conducted between October 7 and 27.

More information on the survey can be found here.