Female employees are having poor mental health than their male counterparts | Health


Mental health is a hot topic these days but many of us still don’t understand the basics for example, a major difference between people with mental illness and others in the workplace is how they communicate with their colleagues. According to Headspace Health statistics, 83% of CEOs and 70% of workers have taken time off from work due to burnout, stress or mental health difficulties.

Female employees are having poor mental health than their male counterparts. Here's why (Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash)
Female employees are having poor mental health than their male counterparts. Here’s why (Photo by Anthony Tran on Unsplash)

Globally, more than half of the employees use digital mental health tools and services where employees and CEOs report the highest usage as the world’s biggest stressors for employees has been novel coronavirus infection (Covid-19), burnout due to overwork or understaffing, unhealthy work life balance, bad leadership etc. It has been found that women are more prone to burnout than men in the workplace and that one of the more serious mental health problems, depression and anxiety, each year, the global economy loses $1 trillion in productivity.

In an interview with HT Lifestyle, Dr Suprakash Chaudhury, HOD, Department of Psychiatry at DPU Private Super Speciality Hospital in Pune, shared, “People with these experiences often show signs of frustration and withdrawal from friends and family outside of work, which can cause problems for the entire team if left unchecked. With this in mind, employers should be aware of and address mental health issues in the workplace.”

Dr Rahul Dilip Jagtap, Clinical Psychologist and Counselling Psychologist at Ruby Hall Clinic in Pune, asserted, “Mental health is an important facet of general well-being since it affects many aspects of life, including work productivity and job satisfaction. While mental health difficulties can affect people of either gender, research have repeatedly shown that female employees have lower mental health than their male counterparts.” He blamed this on –

  • Societal Expectations and Gender Roles: Traditional gender conventions frequently place many tasks on women, such as housework, parenting and caring for older family members. Balancing these obligations with professional commitments can result in severe stress and feelings of overload, increasing the risk of mental health concerns including anxiety and depression. Furthermore, cultural pressures connected to beauty, body image, and expectations of perfection can all contribute to the mental health issues that female employees confront.
  • Workplace Discrimination and Gender Bias: These factors can lead to feelings of frustration, low self-esteem, and a sense of being undervalued, ultimately impacting mental health. The cumulative effect of these experiences can be detrimental, creating an environment that perpetuates gender disparities in mental health outcomes.
  • Work-Life Balance and Family Responsibilities: The obligation of managing both work and personal responsibilities can lead to feelings of guilt and continual pressure to perform well. Lack of flexible work options, insufficient maternity leave regulations, and limited childcare help can compound these issues, resulting to increased stress and reduced mental well-being.

Expert tips:

Dr Suprakash Chaudhury suggested, “By creating a supportive and understanding work environment, companies can help employees struggling with anxiety and depression regain control of their mental states and become productive team members. Sudden prosperity and increased stress at work have led to more and more people using alcohol and drugs. Not only does this negatively impact worker performance through cognitive decline, it also negatively impacts the economy as a whole. By recognising mental health issues as legitimate concerns for all of us, we can ensure that no one feels isolated or marginalized because of mental illness and by giving people the tools they need to manage their mental health; we can build stronger organizations where everyone has an equal chance to succeed.”

Dr Rahul Dilip Jagtap concluded, “Female employees have inferior mental health outcomes due to a complex interaction of variables such as social expectations, workplace discrimination, difficulty in establishing work-life balance and stigma associated with seeking help. Addressing these difficulties necessitates a multidimensional strategy that includes creating inclusive workplaces, promoting gender equality, establishing supporting policies and offering mental health services targeted to the specific needs of female employees. Organisations may take substantial efforts towards supporting the well-being of all employees and establishing a more equitable and psychologically healthy workforce by recognising and actively addressing these underlying elements.”


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