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Women suffer more stress at work


BANGALORE: While women at work deliver the same results as men, across occupations, women experience “unreasonable” stress than men do, says a global survey. Payment parity, equal opportunities, career growth, fair performance assessment etc are some of the key concerns that kept working women under unreasonable stress.

Some 29,338 men and women were surveyed from India, China, Brazil, Russia, America, Britain, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.

In a survey conducted by Kenexa Research Institute, an HR advisory firm based in the US, 56% of the women surveyed said their stress level was reasonable, while 26% felt they were under unreasonable stress. Across roles, more women experienced unreasonable amount of stress than men did. While doing front-line supervisory jobs, women experienced 10% more stress than their male counterparts who carried out the same kind of functions. In service and production jobs, women felt 8% additional stress while at middle and upper manager level, the stress levels were up by 6% for them, compared to men.

Factors including work-life balance, doing exciting work, having a respectful manager, being paid fairly, having a clear career path etc had a direct impact on the work stress among women, said the study.

Looking at the difference between genders, results show that women work stress is more related to managerial support and equal opportunity, whereas men’s stress drivers focus more on product quality and trust in senior leadership.

“This research may partially explain why there are fewer women in the management roles. The media and academia have substantiated the existence of the glass ceiling. Women fight the commonly held perception that they may lack the motivation to climb the corporate ladder, and our data indicate that fewer women feel that achieving career goals are likely while maintaining a balance between personal and professional lives. All these factors increase stress levels for women workers. Again, women are more open to report their stress conditions, compared to men,” said Brenda Kowske, research consultant, Kenexa Research Institute.

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