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Gender and Work Stress in Middle Tennessee – Does it Affect Men and Women Differently?

Fewer opportunities for growth.

Greater pressure to perform.

Too much to do.

Too little pay.

According to a new survey from the American Psychological Association, factors like these are stressing workers out.  In fact, the survey showed that:

  • a full one-third of employees experience chronic stress at work;
  • 61% said their jobs don’t offer adequate opportunities for advancement;
  • 54% of employed adults surveyed feel they are paid too little for their contributions;
  • only about half said they feel valued at work.

Notably, women in this survey reported higher levels of work stress than men, as well as a gnawing sense that they are both under-appreciated and underpaid.  Why?  Here are a few possible reasons:

  • Families rely more on women’s earnings.  In 1988, an employed wife’s contribution to family earnings was 38%.  Now, that figure has jumped up to 47%.
  • Men and women have different emotional responses to stress.  Typically, men are more likely to take a “fight or flight” stance, while women are more likely to have a “tend and befriend” response, seeking comfort in relationships and care of loved ones.
  • More women than men said they don’t receive adequate monetary compensation for their job (38% of women, compared with 27% of men).  This salary shortfall may cause additional stress.

Whatever the reasons for work stress, chronic tension hurts mental clarity – and ultimately job performance.  Physically, the body responds to stress by secreting hormones into the bloodstream that spur accelerated heart rate and breathing, as well as increased muscle tension.  While short periods of stress temporarily increase blood flow to the brain, muscles and limbs (which may boost work performance), too much stress is harmful.  Prolonged periods hamper all of the things that support productive work, including focus, short-term memory, decision-making skills and a positive attitude.

Have stressed out employees?  Give them a break with Wood Personnel.  Our staffing services for Murfreesboro, TN, employers can relieve overburdened workers and keep them performing at peak efficiency for you.  Give us a call today to learn more.