Women more stressful if working in male-dominated workplaces

By: | Published: August 25, 2015 10:56 AM

A new research has revealed that women who work in highly male-dominated occupations are more likely to experience high levels of interpersonal, workplace stress.

A new research has revealed that women who work in highly male-dominated occupations are more likely to experience high levels of interpersonal, workplace stress.

The research conducted by the researchers of Indiana University explained that women working in male-dominated occupations face particular challenges like social isolation, performance pressures, sexual harassment, obstacles to mobility, moments of both high visibility and invisibility, co-workers’ doubts about their competence and low levels of workplace social support.

The researchers examined daily cortisol patterns in women who work in male-dominated workplaces as this helps in measuring the level of stress that naturally fluctuates through the day and people with high levels of interpersonal stress exposure have different patterns of fluctuation than people exposed to more average levels of stress.

Bianca Manago, a doctoral student in sociology who was involved in the research, said that women in male-dominated occupations have less healthy, or dysregulated patterns of cortisol throughout the day due to their negative working conditions.

The research also highlighted that exposure to such difficult and negative workplace climates can expose these women to chronic stress for years.

Cate Taylor, an assistant professor of sociology and gender studies who led the study, mentioned that their study provided evidence that the negative workplace social climates encountered by women in male-dominated occupations may be linked to later negative health outcomes for these women.

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