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Women's Mental Health in the Workplace

5/1/2023 10:00:00 AM

Mental health is a critical aspect of overall health and wellbeing for women. The American Psychiatric Association reports that 1 in 5 women in the United States have a mental health problem, such as depression, post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), or an eating disorder. Although men and women have similar rates of mental health disorders, the type of disorders differs. Women are twice as likely to experience depression, anxiety and PTSD in their lifetime. (American Psychiatic Association) 

Women also experience unique stressors and challenges throughout their lives that directly impact their careers, including gender-based discrimination, the wage gap, pregnancy and childbirth, caregiving responsibilities and more.   

The 2022 Women in the Workplace Report by McKinsey & Company found that women leaders are about 1.5 times as likely as men leaders to have switched jobs because their workload was unmanageable. The stress of being overworked also directly impacts a woman’s personal life. The Anxiety and Depression Association of America found that 72% of women report that workplace stress affects their personal lives.    

Not only are women overworked in the workplace, but they are also overworked at home. 58% of women in entry-level positions and 58% of women in first-level manager positions are responsible for most or all their family’s housework and/or childcare. (2022 Women in the Workplace Report)  

Burnout is another common problem among women in the workplace, and it can have a serious impact on both their mental health and their job performance. The 2022 Women in the Workplace Report also found that 43% of women leaders are burned out, compared to only 31% of men at their level.  

To focus on their mental well-being, it's important for women to prioritize self-care and set boundaries. This might include taking breaks throughout the day to practice mindfulness or meditation, setting realistic goals and expectations for themselves, and seeking support from colleagues, friends, or mental health professionals if needed. It's also important for women to advocate for themselves and their needs in the workplace, whether that means asking for flexible working hours or speaking up if they feel their workload is becoming overwhelming. By prioritizing their mental health and well-being, women can improve their overall quality of life and achieve greater success in their professional careers. 

If you're feeling burnt out at work, here are some tips that may help: 

Another resource for women is our EmpowerHER networking group. This program offers ongoing support to help women reach economic self-sufficiency with the goal of being able to give back to the community. EmpowerHER provides educational opportunities and a network that helps women in the workplace continue to develop skills and advance in their careers.  

We offer meetings and events including expert speakers and networking with professionals from a variety of industries and with other women who have made similar transitions into the workforce. 

Topics are centered around financial wellness, corporate culture, work-life balance, health and wellness and leadership and civic responsibility. 

If you’re interested in attending or partnering with Dress for Success Cincinnati to host an EmpowerHER event, please contact programs Dr. Angela Rivers-Harper.  

You can also connect with Dress for Success Cincinnati on Instagram, Facebook, and LinkedIn to stay connected and up to date on upcoming events and resources.