There is a significant difference in the diversity at the workplace between today and one or two decades ago. More and more women are working either to support their family or to make a career or fulfill their aspirations. In fact, I observed at least in India, high school girls passing percentage is more than their male counterpart for several years. A global survey revealed that women at work experience more “unreasonable” stress as compared to males.
About the survey
A survey was conducted by Kenexa Research Institute, an HR advisory firm based in the US. About 29,338 men and women were surveyed in 19 countries including; India, China, Brazil, Russia, America, Britain, Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Italy, Japan, Mexico, the Netherlands, Spain, Sweden and Switzerland.
Main findings of survey
The survey revealed that 56% women felt their stress level was reasonable, while 26% felt they were under unreasonable stress. The results were analyzed on the basis of roles women were performing at work:
- front-line supervisory jobs, women experienced 10% additional stress than their male counterparts who carried out the same kind of functions.
- service and production-related jobs, women felt 8% additional stress.
- middle and upper manager level, the stress levels were up by 6% as compared to men.
- work life balance
- doing exciting work,
- having a respectful manager
- being paid fairly and
- having a clear career path
Brenda Kowske, research consultant at Kenexa Research Institute...
said that “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 stress conditions, compared to men.’’
The survey also revealed that there was difference in reasons for work stress depending on the gender. 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.
I don’t think the survey results come as a surprise to me. There have been many reports, which have revealed that women have been paid less than their male counterparts for same level and job. In fact a month ago, a big multinational company has to pay fine as some female workers filed lawsuit for this discrepancy in pay.