Mind the (Gender) Gap
Despite many positive strides toward gender equality, women still have it harder when it comes to work and life stress
A survey conducted by Statistics Canada of over 8,000 Canadians found that a significantly larger number of women reported high levels of work and life stress than men. Women also reported lower job control, higher job demands, and lower supervisor support.
A similar study in the United Kingdom found that working women ages 25-54 report more stress than their male coworkers, with this pressure peaking at ages 35-44, when many women are caring for both children and aging parents. They also suffer higher levels of work-related anxiety and depression, with workplace sexism and familial responsibilities adding extra pressure. Even if men are under significant amounts of stress, women are more likely than men to report stress and physical symptoms related to stress, such as fatigue, muscular tension, and feeling depressed or sad.
The occupations and industries reporting the highest states of work-related stress are healthcare and education—traditionally female sectors and front-line roles—with respondents citing workload, lack of managerial support, and organizational change as major factors.
“Women are under constant, instant pressure, with company restructuring, lack of managerial support, and balancing work and family life leaving them feeling drained,” says Dr. Judith Mohring, lead consultant psychiatrist at Priory’s Wellbeing Centre in London. “They also face additional workplace pressures, such as having to prove they’re as good as men, not being valued or promoted, and unequal pay.”
Sources: iwh.on.ca, theguardian.com, apa.org