Read time: 2 minutes

Study: Women Who Work In Male Workplaces Face 'Abnormally High' Stress Levels

This is not a surprise to most women.
Study: Women Who Work In Male Workplaces Face 'Abnormally High' Stress Levels
Image from: AMC

Just another of the many ways women face additional stress:

Being the token woman at your office is undeniably annoying. But a new study says it could also be harmful to your health.

According to the study, which was recently presented at the American Sociological Association, women who work in male-dominated industries experience "abnormally high stress levels." That's in addition to the other fun things women frequently experience in predominantly male workplaces, such as lower pay, isolation and invisibility, obstacles to promotion and, of course, sexual harassment. Because being a woman is delightful.

Researchers at Indiana University looked at the stress levels of more than 440 women who worked in fields where at least 85% of the jobs are occupied by men, such as engineering or construction work. Women who have 15% or fewer female colleagues are, to use the academic term, considered "tokens." They're also exposed to various interpersonal stressors associated with working in a male-dominated occupation, such as lower pay and not getting promoted as quickly as their male counterparts. These stressors cause irregular patterns of cortisol, the hormone that regulates stress. The study found that so-called "token" women exhibited more unhealthy cortisol fluctuations throughout the day than their male counterparts, as well as women who worked in offices with a more balanced gender ratio. The research team also controlled for individual-level characteristics that might also affect women's stress levels, such as their dispositions or their roles in the office. They concluded that the stress was "due to the negative working conditions of token women."

The stress token women exhibited can have major negative physiological consequences, from insomnia and depression to problems with liver function. It's the same sort of hormone irregularity that's associated with post-traumatic stress disorder and it can potentially have lasting repercussions for women that go beyond the workplace, or even well after they leave their jobs.

Can you help us out?

For 16 years we have been exposing Washington lies and untangling media deceit. We work 7 days a week, 16 hours a day for our labor of love, but with rising hosting and associated costs, we need your help! Could you donate $21 for 2021? Please consider a one-time or recurring donation of whatever amount you can spare, or consider subscribing for an ad-free experience. It will be greatly appreciated and help us continue our mission of exposing the real FAKE NEWS!

More C&L Coverage


New Commenting System

Our comments are now powered by Insticator. In order to comment you will need to create an Insticator account. The process is quick and simple. Please note that the ability to comment with a C&L site account is no longer available.

We welcome relevant, respectful comments. Any comments that are sexist or in any other way deemed hateful by our staff will be deleted and constitute grounds for a ban from posting on the site. Please refer to our Terms of Service (revised 3/17/2016) for information on our posting policy.

Please Do Not Use the Login Link at the Top of the Site.

In order to comment you must use an Insticator account. To register an account, enter your comment and click the post button. A dialog will then appear allowing you create your account.

We will be retiring our Crooks and Liars user account system in January, 2021.

Thank you.
C&L Team