women are more stressed than men at work

On National Stress Awareness Month, new research  has revealed that pressures in the workplace and at home are leading to working women feeling more stressed than men (79 per cent women vs 66 per cent men), with 10 per cent of women finding their stress ‘unmanageable’*.

Heavy workloads (17 per cent), personal health (13 per cent) and financial concerns (13 per cent) are the top stress triggers for working women in the UK, and 78 per cent are not getting enough sleep (vs 65per cent of men). The annual Cigna 360 Well-Being Survey also unveils women feel unsupported in the workplace, with 62 per cent stating their employer did not have a formal workplace wellness programme in place. Nearly half (44 per cent) believe senior management lack commitment to providing workplace wellness support. Given the high levels of stress amongst working women and an appetite for tailored wellness programmes, the health service provider is calling for employers to take note.

Phil Austin, Chief Executive Officer at Cigna Europe, said,

It’s evident from our research that women are finding it difficult in today’s society to balance work and life, resulting in higher levels of stress compared to men, so we’re calling on employers to take action. We believe that sustained and evidence-based improvements to wellness programmes will create a less stressed working environment, within which women will be happier and more productive.

The pressures women face at work and home is part of a wider social issue present in today’s society and it’s significantly affecting their wellness. Only 27 per cent are eating a balanced diet (vs 38per cent of men) and 28 per cent are exercising on a regular basis (vs 36per cent of men). Men are sleeping more, have more regular exercise and eat healthier.

Three quarters (75 per cent) of women do not feel positive about their finances (vs 62per cent of men) and almost half (46 per cent) of the women surveyed do not believe they have a satisfactory salary (vs 56per cent of men). Only 17 per cent have sufficient money for retirement (vs 34 per cent of men) and of those with children, only 38 per cent feel they are able to take care of their children’s current financial needs. Men are more confident about their finances, happier with their salary and feel more comfortably set for retirement.

Stress amongst working women is not unique to the UK. Our findings illustrate the global epidemic, with a staggering 88 per cent of working women around the globe feeling stressed, and 13 per cent per cent are suffering from unmanageable stress.

The results reveal that the overall UK Well-Being Index increased slightly from 59.7 in 2018 to 62.5 in 2019. This means that, after a fall in previous years, the Index is improving. The UK now sits above the global average (62.0) and ranks higher than European markets such as Benelux (59.1), France (61.6) and Germany (61.6).

*from Cigna

Interested in wellbeing and mental health? We recommend the Workplace Wellbeing and Stress Forum 2019 and Mental Health Awareness training day.





Aphrodite is a creative writer and editor specialising in publishing and communications. She is passionate about undertaking projects in diverse sectors. She has written and edited copy for media as varied as social enterprise, art, fashion and education. She is at her most happy owning a project from its very conception, focusing on the client and project research in the first instance, and working closely with CEOs and Directors throughout the consultation process. Much of her work has focused on rebranding; messaging and tone of voice is one of her expertise, as is a distinctively unique writing style in my most of her creative projects. Her work is always driven by the versatility of language to galvanise image and to change perception, as it is by inspiring and being inspired by the wondrous diversity of people with whom paths she crosses cross!

Aphrodite has had a variety of high profile industry clients as a freelancer, and previously worked for a number of years as an Editor and Journalist for Prospects.ac.uk.

Aphrodite is also a professional painter.