Women more stressed than men about work during pandemic

New data has revealed that women in the UK could be disproportionately more stressed by their work situation than men – underscoring the damaging impact the pandemic is having on women’s careers. 

Findings from LinkedIn’s Workforce Confidence Index, which measures the mood of the UK labour market, found that women were experiencing more work-related stress compared with men. Most women (73%) reported feeling employment stress in the past month, compared with just over half of men (57%).

There are several factors behind this gender disparity in stress. Compared with men, in 2020 women spent more time than in 2019 searching for their next job or project opportunity (45% of women versus 33% of men), checking in on work during off-hours or time off (37% of women, 29% of men), and working at their primary job (34% of women, 26% of men).

Despite this extra time spent on employment-related activities, women were also taking less time than men than away from their jobs. Half of women (55%) of women said they spent less time taking holiday or time off in 2020, in contrast to 46% of men.

Further LinkedIn data showed that in November the hiring rate for women declined in the UK for the second month running. Earlier this month, real-time data from LinkedIn’s 29 million UK members revealed that women over the age of 30, many of whom are working mums or primary care givers, had been hardest hit, with the hiring rate for this group sinking to its lowest point in spring, during the first lockdown.

Emily Spaven, UK editor at LinkedIn, said: “The pandemic is taking a particularly heavy toll on women and their careers. We’ve already seen that women have been more likely to lose their jobs in this recession, which is even more worrying when LinkedIn’s data shows that women have also been less likely to start a new job during the pandemic.

“Our latest data shows women are spending more time than men working out of hours or searching for new roles – often while juggling work with increased family responsibilities. If we’re going to create a fair recovery, we have to recognise the impact the pandemic is having on individuals and offering greater flexibility to women and working parents who are balancing ever-more demanding workloads.”

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