Understanding the Stress and Challenges Women Face in the Workplace

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In Toorak, as in many other parts of the world, women are frequently facing staggering levels of stress and a myriad of challenges at work, particularly concerning their mental health. The recent survey by Deloitte Global underscores just how widespread and serious these issues have become. Out of the 5,000 women surveyed across 10 countries (including Australia) and various business sectors, half revealed that their stress levels have soared over the past year. Many admitted they were “concerned” or “very concerned” about their mental well-being. This increase in stress is symptomatic of the long hours and intense pressure many women shoulder. The apprehension women feel about disclosing mental health concerns is also alarming, with two-thirds saying they don’t feel comfortable discussing these issues at work. Some fear potential discrimination or job loss, and 1 in 10 reported negative past experiences when attempting to talk about mental health. This paints a picture of a workplace culture that often fails to support women’s mental health adequately, which further exacerbates the problem.

The Silent Struggle in the Workplace

The ripple effect of this stress and incessant workload is evident in another concerning statistic: about 25% of the women said they’re feeling burned out. A mere 43%— only a slight improvement from last year—believe they’re receiving adequate mental health support from their employers. This shortfall is more pronounced among those who slog overtime; only 24% are content with their jobs, while less than 25% rate their mental and physical well-being as “good” or “very good.” Furthermore, almost 40% of the women surveyed struggle through high levels of pain associated with menopause while working. This silent struggle highlights the pressing need to address the mental and physical health challenges women face at work. The profound impact of this on their overall quality of life cannot be overstated, which is why fostering a supportive environment where they can talk openly about these concerns without fear of negative repercussions is indispensable.

Creating a Supportive Workplace Environment

The Deloitte report doesn’t just stop at highlighting the issues but it also offers actionable recommendations that employers in Toorak should embrace. Firstly, it’s crucial to identify and address the root causes of job-related stress. Employers should take a genuine interest in understanding what drives their employees’ stress levels and implement measures to remedy them. This might include managing workloads better or providing more flexible working arrangements. Additionally, companies should build policies that prioritize women’s health and establish a culture where speaking openly about health concerns is encouraged. Women’s safety concerns at work should also be meticulously addressed – organizations should also implement family-friendly benefits and policies which aim to enable a healthy work-life balance. Recognizing the unique challenges that come with returning to the office, especially for women, is essential. Employers in Toorak should identify these challenges and work to alleviate them. Non-inclusive behavior should never be tolerated, and women should be empowered to speak up without fearing retaliation.

Why Employers Need to Prioritize Workers’ Compensation Cover

Protecting employees, particularly women, means having workers compensation cover, so that they can be  supported in the event of work-related injuries or mental health setbacks. For employers in Toorak, staying on top of this isn’t just about legal compliance—it’s about cultivating a thriving, loyal workforce. Proper workers’ compensation cover provides the safety net employees need. It shows that the employer values their health and well-being, reducing financial stress if they ever need to take time off due to their health. When employees see that their organization takes their health seriously, it bolsters morale and loyalty.

Supportive Work Environment

Being a gender equality leader demands more than just policies in a handbook—it requires active and visible efforts to support women’s rights and well-being in the workplace.For businesses in Toorak and beyond, it’s smart to create workplaces that not only attract talented women but also keep them around. When employees are happy and healthy, they’re more engaged, productive, and dedicated—key ingredients for any successful business.

Photo by LinkedIn Sales Solutions on Unsplash

Mick Pacholli

Mick created TAGG - The Alternative Gig Guide in 1979 with Helmut Katterl, the world's first real Street Magazine. He had been involved with his fathers publishing business, Toorak Times and associated publications since 1972.  Mick was also involved in Melbourne's music scene for a number of years opening venues, discovering and managing bands and providing information and support for the industry. Mick has also created a number of local festivals and is involved in not for profit and supporting local charities.        

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