A staggering 93 percent of women in the marketing and communications industry report that a lack of work-life balance negatively impacts their mental health, according to a comprehensive study conducted by Bloom UK, a professional network for women in the field.

The study, titled “The Juggle,” surveyed over 700 women in advertising, marketing, and communications, making it the largest consultation on women’s work-life balance within the industry.

The findings shed light on the challenges faced by women in this sector, with 54 percent frequently feeling overwhelmed by their workload and one-third having limited or no control over the amount of work assigned to them. The research further unveils that two-thirds of women engage in overtime at least once a week, but only 16 percent express happiness in doing so. Shockingly, 83 percent of respondents reported experiencing physical health issues due to a poor work-life balance, with 43 percent grappling with symptoms of stress, anxiety, or burnout.

The survey intentionally delved into the experiences of a diverse group of women, considering factors such as parental status, ethnicity, sexuality, age, seniority, health conditions, neurodivergence, and perimenopause or menopause.

Intersectional Results:

  • Women of Colour: The study found that 41 percent of women of colour feel their work does not allow for a healthy integration of personal and professional life, compared to 31 percent of white women. Over half (54%) of women of color noted a lack of representation or inclusion in decision-making processes compared to their white colleagues.
  • Queer Women: Queer women rated their current work-life balance higher than heterosexual women (54% versus 46%). However, 15 percent felt their work-life balance was impacted by their queer identity, and 15 percent reported experiencing microaggressions or stereotypes related to being LGBTQIA+.
  • Women with Disabilities or Mental Health Conditions: Two-thirds of women with a disability (66%) or mental health condition (65%) found it challenging to disconnect from work. They were also twice as likely (22%) to state that a lack of work-life balance impacted their mental health in an extreme way compared to those without a condition or disability (11%).

Sector-Specific Breakdown:

  • Importance of Work-Life Balance: Ad tech (86%), media owner (83%), media agency (81%), creative agency (81%), in-house (79%), and PR agency (67%).
  • Current Satisfaction: Ad tech (57%), in-house (53%), PR agency (50%), media owner (50%), creative agency (38%), and media agency (37%).
  • Personal Time Satisfaction: 75% of those in ad tech, 63 percent in-house, and 53 percent in creative agencies expressed satisfaction with personal time outside of work.

Elizabeth Anyaegbuna, Bloom President 2023-24, stated, “The data confirms many women shoulder a disproportionate burden, especially those facing intersectional challenges. The Juggle aims to equip managers and leaders to foster supportive, equitable workplaces. The goals are simple: policies, cultures, and spaces where women can thrive holistically, with their needs understood.”





Amelia Brand is the Editor for HRreview, and host of the HR in Review podcast series. With a Master’s degree in Legal and Political Theory, her particular interests within HR include employment law, DE&I, and wellbeing within the workplace. Prior to working with HRreview, Amelia was Sub-Editor of a magazine, and Editor of the Environmental Justice Project at University College London, writing and overseeing articles into UCL’s weekly newsletter. Her previous academic work has focused on philosophy, politics and law, with a special focus on how artificial intelligence will feature in the future.