We all know gender balanced workplaces are good thing and should be the endgame for any HR department worth their doing-good-for-society salt. The Atlantic quotes studies which have found gender quality in the office can lead to more company profits, as well as an enhanced reputation for companies.
Now we have even more evidence for upping the gender parity game, after one study found women who work in offices where the overwhelming majority of staff are male, may even be damaging their health.
Researchers from Indiana University Bloomington looked at the stress levels of 440 women working in male-dominated offices, where at least 85% of the staff were guys, and it turns out these women displayed some seriously high levels of cortisol, the stress hormone. The industries looked at included the usual STEM suspects, science and engineering, and the women surveyed were more likely to “experience exposure to high levels of interpersonal, workplace stressors”, according to Bianca Manago, one of the researchers. In fact, the study found that women in this sort of workplaces have “dysregulated” patterns of cortisol throughout the day. Which is not a good thing. Psych Central, which wrote about the study, points out that other studies have found that women face isolation in work, as well as issues with their co-workers questioning their ability. It’s enough to giv us a headache even writign about it.
With such irregular levels of cortisol, your mental health is at risk. All these stressors make you vulnerable. There is an increased risk of developing insomnia or depression – two conditions that are simply not cured overnight.
So, if you’re part of an old boy’s network workplace, you may want to start sending the hiring manager some of your female friends and acquaintances CVs. And if you get any opposition, explain how sexual segregation isn’t just political BS, but that it isn’t doing your health any favours.
Via Psych Central