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Study Reveals Women Execs More Prone To Stress Disorders

Woman looking stressed with piles of books, crumpled papers, and cups of coffee.
Doctor Tipster
Utah ranked well below the national average fr women in executive positions, yet still experience high levels of stress and anxiety disorders.

A new study released by the mental health and wellness organization Lantern reveals that women in senior positions, such as CEO’s and board presidents, are 11 percent more stressed and 16 percent more anxious than their male counterparts.

Ann Devereux-Mills, chief strategy officer at Lantern, began her career as a single mom, CEO of several advertising agencies and later dealt with several bouts of cancer. She said she is intimately acquainted with the stresses that come with these types of positions.

“One of the main things that I’ve found is women’s roles in companies have grown as women have taken on more and more senior level positions, but the rest of the world hasn’t changed along with that growth,” Devereux-Mills said. “So, while a woman goes to work and has a major career, at home her responsibilities have remained the same.”

In fact, she said the expectations of male partners has not changed dramatically. This means women are most likely adding to their plates rather than exchanging.

Susan Madsen, professor of leadership at Utah Valley University and the director of the Utah Women and Leadership Project, said women in top executive positions often work more than 60 hours a week, and when they come home from work, they are still responsible for the brunt of the housework and childcare. She called this a “second shift.”

“I did a brief and published that in 2014 on how many women executives actually we have in the state of Utah and in general we are well below the national average, even in terms of women being on corporate boards or being in those positions,” Madsen said.

She said research on Utah women in general shows that due to the prominent culture, many women struggle with perfectionism and the resulting anxieties both at work and in the home.

“We do have less women in those managerial and leadership positions yet, we really do have as many women in the workplace as other states in the nation,” Madsen said.