Having job authority—the ability to hire, fire, and determine salaries—relieves men of symptoms of depression while worsening those symptoms in women. According to a study completed at the University of Texas, power in the workplace has a complex relationship when it comes to gender, benefiting men while causing women more stress.
Led by sociologist Tetyana Pudrovska, the study considers more than 1,300 middle-aged men and 1,500 middle-aged women, all of whom graduated from high schools in Wisconsin. Pudrovska wondered why women with greater status, authority, and pay, exhibit worse mental health than lower-status women. The answer, she says, is related to how powerful women are received in the workplace.
“Years of social science research suggests that women in authority positions deal with interpersonal tension, negative social interactions, negative stereotypes, prejudice, social isolation, as well as resistance from subordinates, colleagues, and superiors.”
When women do display characteristics like assertiveness and confidence, they are judged for being unfeminine, contributing to chronic stress. On the other hand, men with power are considered normative and legitimate, increasing their ability to wield power with ease.
Bonnie Fuller, Editorial Director of American Media, explains several double standard that exist for women in the workplace:
Read more at Science Daily
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