Your Health Matters


New study says women are feeling burned out more than men

"The reality [is] there’s an equality gap."
Posted at 5:53 AM, Nov 03, 2021
and last updated 2021-11-04 07:48:39-04

KERN COUNTY, Calif. — A recent study by McKinsey & Company says 42% of women and 35% of men feel burned out this year. That’s up from 32% and 28% last year.

"We’ve had a lot of stress in our lives over the last two years. I mean, we really have," said Kern Behavioral Health and Recovery’s Heather Hornibrook.

Hornibrook said signs of burnout include exhaustion, negativity and irritability.

She said the nearly 10% gender gap in the study has to do with roles typically given to women, especially during the pandemic.

“As a woman, not only were we dealing with the stressors of work and learning a new way to work, but we had children at home, [trying] to navigate distant learning. Schools were scrambling too to come up with a process just as we were at work" said Hornibrook.

“Part of the gap is that women carry additional responsibilities that men oftentimes do not. The reality [is] there is an equality gap that women are trying to catch up on," said CSUB professor Dr. Tracey Salisbury.

Salisbury said women oftentimes face different challenges than men in the workplace. That can lead to more burnout.

"Women tend to accept what salary they're offered. They tend to accept duties they’re offered and they try to negotiate a different way, and that means you end up accepting an inequitable workload instead of saying, 'Hey, wait a minute. I don’t do that,'" said Salisbury.

According to the survey, around two million women are considering leaving the workforce due to challenges caused by COVID-19.

Salisbury said it takes honest conversations within the workforce to give women better opportunities - something she does believe is already happening.

“I think it’s being done in a way. I just think change is slow but I think women are communicating with each other. Women are supporting one another in the workplace. I think there's more opportunities for women," she said.

Both Hornibrook and Salisbury stressed that self-care is the best way to counteract burnout. BHRS has a crisis hotline you can call at 1-800-991-5272.