Did you know that women in the workplace are 1.5 times more likely to suffer with stress or anxiety, caused or made worse by the workplace, than men are. A major contributing factor to this, is that not enough is being done in the workplace to prevent gender inequality. According to the HSE (Health and Safety Executive) over the course of 3 years, 272,000 women reported work related stress issues in comparison to 200,000 men. This is not to say that a significant number of men don't suffer from work related stress and anxiety, however there are some very female specific challenges in the professional world that contribute to a higher level of stress and anxiety for women. For example:
- Fears around job security. Studies have shown that women are generally more concerned than men about job security. When restructures occur, women are more concerned over the safety of their role and there is often the added concern that going on maternity leave can risk job security too.
- Lack of Flexibility - Many women suffer a variety of female medical issues that can make being at work extremely uncomfortable. These include PCOS, Endometriosis, PMT and the Menopause to name just a few. It is a general assumption that requesting time off or days working from home to help ease some of the pain or discomfort is unacceptable. Therefore there are plenty of women suffering in silence due to fear of a lack of understanding or of judgement.
- Potential for Promotion - In many work places, men are more likely to be promoted. This can leave some women feeling stressed at the idea of having to compete or prove themselves against their male colleagues. This constant added pressure, along side the pay gap, can lead to lack of confidence, low self esteem, stress and anxiety.
- Motherhood - motherhood is the most natural feminine experience for women. However often women are made to feel they have to compromise this. Juggling childcare and work life can be extremely stressful. Worrying about needing time off to look after sick children or needing time off during pregnancy can also be contributing factors to high levels of stress and anxiety.
- Hormones - It is common place for many women to experience higher levels of anxiety at various points in their cycle. Hormone imbalances can wreak havoc with nerves, mood and energy levels making being at work challenging. Dealing with this whilst trying to perform to a high standard can dramatically impact on levels of stress and anxiety.
These are just some of the challenges women have to face in the workplace which can cause high levels of stress and anxiety. Prolonged periods of times dealing with these emotions can lead to extended time off work, less productivity, difficulty focusing or achieving and even resulting in taking medication.
Counselling, Hypnotherapy, Meditation and Mindfulness are just some of the natural ways you can help manage stress and anxiety in the workplace. Click here for your free phone consultation to see how I can help!