Major Stressors of working Women in workplace
No Country can every truly flourish if it stifles the potential of its women and deprives itself of the contribution of half its Citizens. “Michele Obama.
The women are facing so many challenges in their life, the Stressors of Working Women are too many to discuss as they face severe issues in their everyday life. The Gender gap, Disparity in pay, Mental Harassment, Sexual Harassment, Lack of Opportunities, Pregnancy Discrimination, not giving acknowledgement to hard work etc. are some major stressors of working women in workplace. Moreover, the women in workplace are also facing the challenges of Body Shaming, objectified in some situations and also the issue of not gaining trust of the seniors that women can excel in many fields.
Major Stressors of Working Women in 2023
Some of the major stressors of women in workplace are stated below –
Gender Biases in Workplace
Gender biases means a person receiving the different type of treatment, experiencing different types of responses based on that person’s gender and this is a serious issue in workplace. Here, women are getting less recognition, less salary, less opportunities than man on doing the same type of works and this issue continues intentionally or unintentionally. One study found that, among sales employees- who are paid based on performance and commission- women are unfairly assigned inferior accounts than men. Moreover, some types of works like finance, accountancy etc. are hiring more men than women but more women are recruited in front office works and thus gender bias is one of the major stressors of working women.
Disparity in Pay
Disparity in pay is seen in all fields- from the daily wage laborers to the corporate world employees, women are generally found to be paid less than the men for the same type of work and so, this is one of the major stressors of working women. Not only in developing countries or under-developed countries but also in developed countries disparity in pay is seen. In the United States, the non-adjusted average women’s annual salary is 79% of the men’s average salary, compared to 95%. In India, the gender pay gap is quite wide and it is even seen in the rate chart of daily wage of workers in different states.
Lack of Opportunities in Workplace
The women are getting very less scope and opportunities in workplace than the men, till now the women are not considered as the first choice in many jobs even by the women boss also and this is not only a matter of stress and tension in women but also create lack of confidence and inferiority complex in women. Several studies have found that the women are most responsible and sincere towards their work than the men. According to a report published in The Economic Times in December 2022, the rate of employable women has been consistently higher employable men but the majority of the top positions in different fields are occupied by the men.
Not Getting the Credit of their Work
It is also one of the major stressors of working women and make them feel bad, neglected in workplace. Very often the women employees are not getting reward or appreciation for their hard work and dedication and in group work sometimes the whole credit is taken over by their male counterparts. All these things make them depressed, hopeless and the women lose their enthusiasm to do work. But studies have found that most of the women have better managerial skills and productivity than men .
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Sexual Harassment in Workplace
Sexual Harassment is the severe stressors of women in workplace in all over the globe- physical contact including the bad touch, demand for sexual relationship, talking about sex related topics, making sexually colored remarks, showing pornography, rape etc. are the ways of sexual harassment in workplace and all these types of harassment force the women to a traumatic experience and they may even bound to quit their job. In all countries the government has it’s own law and act to stop the sexual harassment in workplace and also to punish the evil ones. In India also an act was established in 2013 to address the issues of workplace sexual harassment.
Mental Harassment of Women
Mental harassment of women is the most important stressors of working women in all fields and continuous mental harassment make the women stressed, fatigued and exhausted. Due to psychological abuse and neglect, many women lose their self-confidence, self-esteem and are suffering from inferiority complex, depression, sleeping disorder and also from anxiety attacks. Thus, mental harassment is the worst stressors of working women but it is till now overlooked or underestimated by all. In India, there is no specific procedure stated in any law to deal with the mental harassment but in case of serious offence one mat take the help of section 498A of Indian Penal Code.
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Pregnancy Discrimination in Workplace
Another important stressors of working women in workplace is the pregnancy discrimination- the discrimination happens when a woman is treated differently or less favorably than another person because she is pregnant. Sometimes they are fired or not getting their promotions or increment in salary only due to their pregnancy. it also includes denying reasonable accommodations and facilities to pregnant women. Pregnancy discrimination severely affect the overall health of mother and baby and should be treated strictly. In India, we have the Pregnancy Discrimination Act, 1978 to protect pregnant women in workplace from the discrimination on the basis of pregnancy or child birth.
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Lack of Sensitivity
Workplace sensitivity means the assurance of treating everyone appropriately and respecting every one in workplace regardless of caste, gender, race or religion. But the women in workplace often feel lack of sensitivity towards them, often they hurt mentally by others or tolerate offensive behavioral issues. For example, in many offices and schools , the women are treated badly for their period days and also the lactating mother also don’t allow to take a short break to go home to feed her baby. Though the rare of insensitivity has decreased all over the world but it should be taken more empathetically, otherwise the lack of sensitivity will exist as one of the major stressors of working women.
Imposter Syndrome in Workplace
Imposter Syndrome is the mental state in which people feel very low confidence, doubting their skills and abilities, cannot accept their praise and has a feeling of internalized fear of being exposed as a fraud. People suffering from this syndrome feel that success is impossible for them and they can not meet other people’s expectations and they are always in a state of anxiety and fear of failure. Many studies have shown that the imposter syndrome is experienced by most of the women in workplace than the men. Due to various discrimination in workplace, the women develop the Inferiority Complex and they lose their self-confidence and start to doubt their skills and abilities may be resulting in Imposter Syndrome .
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Ways to Deal with Stressors of Working Women
To minimize the workplace stressors of working women, the employers should come forward and make the working environment conducive for all- both men and women. The employer can do the following-
. The pay structure of the working place should not be based on gender, caste or race but based on skills and abilities- both men and women should get equal pay for equal work.
. There should be equal opportunities of work for both male and female employees.
. There should be recognition of success, achievements for both male and female employees.
.The employer should be very strict regarding the sexual harassment and mental harassment in the workplace. He\She should at once report to Police or take the help of law if any harassment happen in his\her place.
.The employer can arrange for seminar, workshops etc. for mental health and well-being of his\her employees.
The women can do the following to cope up with the workplace stressors-
. The women should also boost up their self- confidence and self- esteem , make themselves more skilled and powerful so that they can go in the parallel ways with their male collogues.
.The women should also learn to protest if they experience any kind of harassment in workplace.
.They can make their own associations of women to deal with their issues.
.They should practice self-care, self-respect and may take the help of psychologist or therapist if they face acute anxiety .
All the stressors of working women in workplace severely affect their mental health, most of the working women are in high stress due to job pressure and also the prevalence of gender biases present in workplace. Due to disparity in pay structure, lack of opportunities and recognition lack of sensitivity the women employees are more prone to anxiety disorders, depression, feelings of inadequacy, low self-esteem etc. But, if the employers are liberal, broad- minded and empathetic to women, they can surely create conducive working environment in workplace so that the stressors of working women can be minimized and can truly set the example of #EmbraceEquity.
1.Is there any punishment for mental harassment in workplace?
Yes, If any person involved in doing severe mental harassment of someone, case may be filed against him and according to IPC under section 294 there will be imprisonment up to three years or with a fine or both.
2.What are Gender Bias examples in workplace?
Ans- Treating male and female employees differently, disparity in pay, unequal opportunities etc. are some examples of gender- bias.
3. Is Pregnancy a stressors of working women?
Ans- Yes, due to pregnancy discrimination in workplace it is a major stressor.