Women Are More Stressed At Work Than Men

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Women in the U.K. suffer more from work-related stress, anxiety and depression than men, according to official figures.

Women aged 25-54 feel the pressure more than men, with those aged 35-44 feeling it most, figures from the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) show.

This "sandwich generation" of women is often required to juggle caring for their children and elderly parents, along with providing an income and taking care of the home.

Familial responsibilities could be behind women's stress levels, along with workplace sexism, the gender pay gap and feeling the need to prove they are as good as men, reported The Guardian.

Work-related stress among men aged 16-24, 25-34 and 35-44 was significantly lower than the average, according to the figures for the three years leading up to 2016. Men aged 45-54 had the highest stress rate, but the rate was “not statistically significant”, said the HSE report.

By contrast, women aged 25-34, 35-44 and 45-54 all had statistically higher levels of stress than average. Statisticians said this could be because women are more likely to be found in some of the most stressful frontline roles, such as teaching and nursing.

“The occupations and industries reporting the highest rates of work-related stress remain consistently in the health and public sectors of the economy," the HSE said.

"The reasons cited as causes of work-related stress are also workload, lack of managerial support and organisational change.”

Stress accounted for 37% of all work-related ill health in 2015/16, and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health, the HSE report found. 272,000 women reported work-related stress over the last three years, compared with 200,000 men.

Dr Judith Mohring, lead consultant psychiatrist at Priory’s Wellbeing Centre in the City of London, said the disparity between men and women's stress levels shows not enough has been done to work towards gender equality in the workplace.

“If companies and organisations are genuinely interested in making their loyal and talented female staff feel less stressed – and I sometimes question if they are – then allowing employees wherever possible to work from home is an important step forward," she told The Guardian.

She said lower pay, job insecurity and a lack of potential for career progression were also sources of stress for women.

Having less time to "network with senior – often male – bosses puts them at disproportionate risk", she added. “Endemic uncertainty is built into many workplaces, and women often bear the brunt of that."
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