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Women suffer more from workplace stress than men....

(40 Posts)
DeviTheGaelet Sat 31-Dec-16 16:51:29

According to this in the guardian

Reasons given are balancing work and family, being disadvantaged by having to "prove" they are as good as men, not being promoted, being undervalued and increasingly the family being reliant on the woman's earning.

This is all depressingly familiar to me and I don't know what we do about it. Comments on this board show that many don't even believe it's an issue even in the face of evidence.

DeviTheGaelet Sat 31-Dec-16 16:51:39

TheSparrowhawk Sat 31-Dec-16 20:56:15

I've worked in a number of different jobs and in every single place there have been women working their arses off, being belittled and ignored while men coast by doing nothing getting promotion after promotion. It angers me so much to see women's confidence totally shattered by this - because everyone pretends that the world isn't a misogynistic cesspit they think that they're 'failing' because of their own lack of talent rather than the fact that their male bosses don't value them one bit. In some ways it's actually harder for women to admit that they're being treated like second rate servants - it's easier for them to think that it's their own fault.

A few rage-inducing examples I've come across:
-DH's old boss being told she couldn't have an assistant when she was promoted to professor, despite the fact that every single other (male) professor before her had had one. Naturally she would then struggle to do as well as previous (male, assisted) professors and the verdict would be that female professors weren't quite as good. Thankfully she threatened to withdraw millions of funding that she had attracted in grants from the university and they suddenly had enough money for an assistant. Fucking arseholes.
- DH's (male) business partners being reluctant to hire a top-notch candidate for a job. When he probed them as to why it turned out they didn't want two women heading up the company. When he probed further, they wouldn't say why, obviously because that would make them look like massive misogynistic twats.Thankfully he insisted they hire her, but if they hadn't she'd have gone away thinking she wasn't up to the job, when all that was missing was a fucking penis.
- One of the same business partners refusing to set up another business with DH because I was involved. Again wouldn't say why. So we set up our own business, without him. He ended up with a totally unqualified, inexperienced man. We're running rings around them. HA! IN YOUR FACE!
One particular client I work with has a bunch of arrogant, lazy male staff and one fantastically talented female staff member. The female staff member was on the verge of leaving because the men were just taking the utter piss and she was strung out trying to keep everything together. I had to say to him very firmly in the end that if he lost her I would no longer work for him as I couldn't see his business surviving without her for more than a year. He finally got the message and has (sort of) promoted her. It's yet to be fully resolved but she at least feels somewhat more valued. Again, if I hadn't stepped in she would have ended up leaving feeling totally defeated.
-Another client wasn't going to invite the person who had the best CV by far to interview for a job. I couldn't get him to say why (as usual). So he invited her and she was a million times better than everybody else. Again, had he rejected her she would have thought it was due to some failing of hers.
- The (female) business manager at the bank asking us why, out of myself and DH, I was the CEO. She wasn't interested, and she wasn't asking because she needed to, she was asking because she didn't understand why the woman would be the boss.
- The bill for the business credit card, taken out in my name, being sent to DH, even though he never appeared a single time on the application. I got on the phone and totally ripped them a new one for that one - they sent the bill to someone who wasn't even involved in setting the fucking card up in the first place!

I have countless other examples.

What I've done about it is, in my own business I will never treat women that way. I have already met two incredibly talented women who are being treated like utter shit where they currently work. One of them will start working for me in March and I will hire the other one as soon as she's available.

The only plus to all this is that those shitty companies' losses are my company's massive gain - I get incredibly talented, well-trained women who will work very hard, particularly when they're given the recognition they've never had in their previous workplaces. Meanwhile, when those women leave their previous jobs the business owners are baffled as to why everything has fallen apart - they genuinely can't seem to see that they walked all over and spat on the person they depended on most.

It entirely fucks me off when 'good guy' bosses scratch their head over why they don't manage to hire more women and then interrupt and talk over every woman who comes within a mile of them. They love to be seen to agonise over it but they have no interest whatsoever in changing their own behaviour - even pointing it out to them makes them defensive and childish, it's just not worth the effort. Women will just have to tell them all to get fucked and just start their own businesses.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sat 31-Dec-16 21:13:09

I've been getting really stressed about work recently.

I'm sure it's a work life balance thing in my case. I work from home so I never really switch off from work. I'm constantly plate spinning work stuff and children stuff and recently some of those work plates fell.

I feel shit about it and it bothered me more than it should have (it was two pretty minor slip ups).

For me the best fix would be a change in the long hours culture. I've had weeks of no time to myself, all my waking hours have been spent with the kids or working (dh does help but he works pretty long hours too and has to be in an office).

When I go back in Jan I'm going to try and claim some of my life back from work.

DeviTheGaelet Sat 31-Dec-16 22:15:21

sparrow can I come and work for you? You sound amazing!
whenshe sad I'm sure the slip ups seemed far worse for you than anyone else!
It is so difficult. I'm totally fed up with the whole thing. My DH does loads with the kids and house and yet I still can't get on in my career. I'm pretty sure it's because I don't have a penis, but I can't say that obviously. I'm at a loss though because I'm awesome at my job but for some reason my feedback is always "carry on doing what you are doing, amazing job, and you'll be in for promotion next year" while these mediocre tossers get promoted around me. And I feel so guilty because DH career is on the back burner so I can focus on mine and it's going nowhere.
Anyway enough of my pity party!
All I can think is maybe we shouldn't tell girls they can get anything they want be working hard because it leads to burnout and being disappointed. Need to think of something positive!

YetAnotherSpartacus Sun 01-Jan-17 00:56:11

I could cite many, many examples. Most recently, I'd had a horrible year, including suffering a significant personal loss and illness. I have a male colleague who is jealous of some of my achievements (however, I have several years on him in terms of seniority, so he has plenty of time to catch up) and who is passive aggressive towards me, refusing to give me information I need in order to perform my role properly. Raising this with management has backfired and I am considered the aggressive party (meanwhile the extra time I have to put in to my work in order to compensate for missing information is swept under the carpet, or I am blamed for being slow). Everyone fawns over this young man and he is given what he wants. At the end of this year, when I was utterly, utterly exhausted I raised the issue and its impact on me again and was told that "I needed to understand that the male colleague had a lot on his plate right now". Riiiiiight. My own very real issues were completely overlooked. Sadly, too, it was a woman who said this.

I hate the term 'imposter syndrome'. It blames women for not being confident and overlooks the significant hurdles we face in workplaces that most men don't face as well as the many practices that favour men over women - see examples cited above of women not getting roles because they were women.

[Waits for at least one poster to claim that they never experienced any discrimination / have not witnessed other women receiving it, therefore the implication is those of us who have are deluded].

TheSparrowhawk Sun 01-Jan-17 08:25:23

I agree Devi that we shouldn't tell girls that they can get what they want by working hard because that's not true. We have to tell them that, unfortunately things haven't improved enough yet so as it stands men get a much easier ride than women but that we're working on changing that. Our daughters will probably still have work to do, but hopefully not as much. Things will change, but we have to persevere.

DeepAndCrispAndEvenTheWind Sun 01-Jan-17 09:08:02

Yy Sparrowhawk

Although DH does at least his share if not more, in my male dominated profession, most men have a SAHM partner or at least one who works part time/locally and covers all child sick days, school events etc. We split it all.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sun 01-Jan-17 09:12:02

Waits for at least one poster to claim that they never experienced any discrimination / have not witnessed other women receiving it, therefore the implication is those of us who have are deluded

It's very hidden though. I can't think of an example in my work where someone was discriminated against but I'm sure it's happened.
I was passed over for a project when I was pregnant but that seemed sensible at the time. I was 5 months pregnant, was planning to take 9 months may leave and the project was a 12 month one.

I'm sure the fact we have very female/male split in my organisation (even at management level) means we are more fair than other work places.
One thing I found interesting was when two people competed for the same job (one male one female). They were both very good candidates and were pretty evenly matched. All the female employees thought the woman would get it and all the men thought the man would.

Maybe people tend to promete / hire people who are similar to them. But that doesn't explain women discriminating against other women

I think the best solution we can have is to make recruitment and promotion processes as "blind" as possible. Considering people's performance not who they are. Easier said than done though.

TheSparrowhawk Sun 01-Jan-17 09:13:48

Yup Deep and I'm sure those SAHMs are reminded regularly how 'lucky' they are to be at home with the children. No one seems to notice how 'lucky' their husbands are to have a servant/nanny to support them through their careers eh?

29redshoes Sun 01-Jan-17 09:18:07

It's depressing that this inequality still exists sad

I have to say though, I am a little conflicted on the "work/life balance" argument. The problem with saying we need to tackle the long hours culture to help women succeed in the workplace is that it just reinforces the message that it's women (specifically mothers) who should be taking on the lion's share of the housework/childcare.

I do think tackling the long hours culture is a good idea for all sorts of reasons but linking it to women in the workplace is not ideal, in my opinion.

TheSparrowhawk Sun 01-Jan-17 09:19:47

Blind recruitment does help. But discrimination is insidious, it's incredibly subtle. Research from 2012 found that in a mixed gender group men always talk more than women yet when women speak 25% of the time they're seen as dominating the conversation. Women are far more likely to be ignored, interrupted, talked over. One particular classic that I've experienced numerous times is making a point to have it ignored only for a man to make exactly the same point, to much praise, two minutes later. The constant drip drip drip is soul destroying

TheSparrowhawk Sun 01-Jan-17 09:22:55

I agree totally 29red. That attitude implies that we must modify the workplace to take into account inevitable fact that women look after children. What should happen is that work culture should change entirely based on the assumption that we all have lives and responsibilities.

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sun 01-Jan-17 09:26:02

Research from 2012 found that in a mixed gender group men always talk more than women yet when women speak 25% of the time they're seen as dominating the conversation. Women are far more likely to be ignored, interrupted, talked over

That's really interesting. Would be interesting to know what the mix was in these discussions. More senior people tend to talk more, men are more likely to be senior so does that explain the discrimination. Or is it people of similar experience and you still see men talking over the women.

PushingElephantsUpStairs Sun 01-Jan-17 09:35:50

Agree 29red, there needs to be more done to challenge the assumption that women should be the ones to take on childcare responsibilities etc. My partner is a SAHD therefore I have a complete role reversal to some of my male colleagues but I still get asked - 'how do you manage to work full time?', 'it must be really difficult' etc. Yes it is difficult but no more difficult than the men that have the same level of support that I do, yet I would hazard a guess that they never get asked this.

Believeitornot Sun 01-Jan-17 10:22:13

There is definitely something about the working hours culture which needs tackling.

It shouldn't be necessary but it's become almost a macho thing to be working late and long hours all the time especially when it isn't even necessary. I know because my colleagues do it and when you question then, they're actually pissing about at home with little to do but are logging on "just to check".

As for having a partner at home who doesn't work, or works a lot less, that also plays a massive factor and in the past was nearly always a woman. Most older men I come across, with grown up children, don't seem to understand that it's hard juggling a family and a senior executive job.
And also I don't want to spend 99% of my waking hours worrying about work. Even if I did have a SAHD! I work to live not the other way around.

TheSparrowhawk Sun 01-Jan-17 10:32:28

I agree about the long hours thing. One bunch of men I work with are 'so busy' and 'work so hard' - it's total bollocks. They drag meetings out way beyond necessary, take 2 hour lunches and work incredibly slowly. I could get triple the amount of work they do done in half the time.

alwayslearning789 Sun 01-Jan-17 10:33:35

TheSparrowhawk agree with you on this as spot on "But discrimination is insidious, it's incredibly subtle. Research from 2012 found that in a mixed gender group men always talk more than women yet when women speak 25% of the time they're seen as dominating the conversation. Women are far more likely to be ignored, interrupted, talked over. One particular classic that I've experienced numerous times is making a point to have it ignored only for a man to make exactly the same point, to much praise, two minutes later. The constant drip drip drip is soul destroying."

Specifically asked a fellow Senior Colleague how to deal with such situations and was advised to just 'accept' and find another way to get your point across via another 'respected colleague.'

I prefer your approach Sparrowhawk of recognising the talent and promoting it and therefore now focus efforts on developing female team members confidence in their abilities. The skills they bring to the table are valuable and support from those with some influence does help, as well as the increase in numbers.

slightlyglitterbrained Sun 01-Jan-17 10:41:54

Getting someone to repeat your point while naming you can be effective - e.g. "Actually I think we should try X, as always was suggesting". Seen people referring to it as "amplifying".

It does require at least one supportive colleague though, and sometimes there isn't one.

TheSparrowhawk Sun 01-Jan-17 10:46:45

That can be effective slightly, but it's ridiculous that it's necessary.

buckingfrolicks Sun 01-Jan-17 10:47:40

Huge generalisation alert:

is it also because women tend to feel more responsible for stuff? men tend to think about themselves first, others second. And men have that built in sense of "I'm a good person' while women don't, and hence women worry,stress about all aspects of their life while men don't?

WhenSheWasBadSheWasHorrid Sun 01-Jan-17 10:56:13

Actually I think we should try X, as always was suggesting". Seen people referring to it as "amplifying

This is a really good plan. I try to do it with others and have had others do it to me. Really adds impact.

Agree with sparrow it's such a shame it's necessary but we don't live in a perfect world, got to make the best of what we've got

manandbeast Sun 01-Jan-17 10:57:51

This is really interesting. I have struggled to further my career since having a child, despite only taking 6 mos maternity leave, and working my ass of since then (5 yrs ago).

I have recently realised that I just don't fit with the office boys' club's view of a senior exec, despite delivering good work on a par with theirs.

I'm going to retrain in 2017 to a profession where I think I will be more valued.

Shakey15000 Sun 01-Jan-17 11:02:17

I have recently been discriminated against and bullied at work. I consider myself a strong female character, professional and capable. For NO reason that I could think of and a subsequent appeal backed me up. But the stress was unbelievable. And the complete bewilderment has made me doubt my capabilities, even though I knew I was "right". My confidence in the workplace is rocked and I spend too much time ensuring correct procedures as I still feel my card is marked for daring to defend myself. I'm more saddened that the LM and manager who were instrumental are also female sad Thankfully it was also a female who conducted my appeal, saw there were zero grounds and absolutely no evidence and upheld it smile

I'm still leaving when I'm able to though.

TheSparrowhawk Sun 01-Jan-17 11:08:26

There are so many stories like your man and Shakey. And then there are endless articles about why women don't make it to the top, as though it's some sort of mystery.

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