Women more likely to suffer work-related stress than men

Depressed businesswoman

Businesswoman holding her head in her hands

Women are much more likely than men to suffer work-related stress, according to statistics released by the Heath and Safety Executive.

The report says that in the three-year period from 2013 to 2016 the prevalence rate for work-related stress in males was 1,190 cases for males and 1,820 cases for females per 100,000 workers.

For men, the higher rates of work-related stress came between ages 45 and 54, but these were not statistically significantly higher than the rate for all men and women combined. However, for women the ages of 25 to 54 were all statistically higher than the rate for all persons combined with the 35-44 year old category being the highest.

The report says: “The higher rates reported by females is likely to be a product of the proportion of females in the public services and vocational occupations such as teaching and nursing and cultural differences in attitudes and beliefs between males and females around the subject of stress.”

The report says the number of stress-related cases in the workplace has remained broadly the same over the last decade. In 2015/16 stress accounted for 37% of all work-related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health.

The report says stress is more prevalent in public service industries, such as education; health and social care; and public administration and defence.  By occupation, jobs that are common across public service industries (such as healthcare workers; teaching professionals; business, media and public service professionals) show higher levels of stress as compared to all jobs, says the report, with the main work factors cited by respondents as causing work-related stress, depression or anxiety being workload pressures, including tight deadlines and too much responsibility and a lack of managerial support.

Dr Judith Mohring, lead consultant psychiatrist at Priory’s Wellbeing Centre in the City of London, told the Guardian newspaper that she believed the higher prevalence of stress in women was partly due to workplace sexism and work life balance issues.





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