NORTH TEXAS (CBSNewsTexas) – A global pandemic and the ensuing economic uncertainty have made the last few years hard on everyone, but study after study has found women are feeling the brunt of the stress.
“We know women are taking on the lion’s share of household work and childcare responsibilities and that takes a mental and physical toll,” said Sara Redington with the Miles Foundation, which funds initiatives to improve the lives of children and families.
Deloitte’s Women @ Work: A Global Outlook, a survey of 5,000 women across 10 countries, shows some signs of progress for women in the workplace in the past year, like a decrease in burnout. However, mental health continues to be a concern.
According to Harris Poll data commissioned by CVS Health, women juggling work and raising kids are more likely to report their mental health has gotten worse in the past year.
Forty-two percent of working mothers were diagnosed with anxiety and/or depression in 2022, compared to 28% of the general population and 25% of their coworkers without kids.
“It’s okay to not be okay,” said Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker, a mom of three. “It’s okay to talk about it and recognize when you need more support, especially in that phase of raising families, because it is really hard.”
A movement to increase support for parents in the workplace started in Fort Worth and has been steadily growing across the country.
More than 200 business leaders recently came together in Cowtown for the Best Place for Working Parents® National Summit on the importance of family-friendly policies.
“There’s real tangible benefits to the company beyond doing what’s right for your employees,” said Sadie Funk, the national director of Best Place for Working Parents.
Lack of flexibility around working hours is the top reason cited by women currently looking to leave their employer, according to the Women @ Work survey.
Data shows when companies offer benefits like parental leave, childcare assistance, flexible hours, and the ability to work remotely it helps them recruit and retain top talent.
“These are policies are proven and they’re proving out on a day-to-day basis for these companies,” Redington said. “They’re showing returns.”
Best Place for Working Parents says moving businesses in this direction not only helps their bottom line but improves the physical and emotional well-being of all their employees – not just those raising kids.
Workers with full-schedule flexibility report higher productivity and a greater ability to focus, which leads to less burnout.
“Ask your employers and your HR department what that looks like,” Parker said. “Talk to friends and families. You don’t have to do this alone.”
If you’re struggling, look into whether your company offers employee assistance programs that provide counseling and guidance. Experts also recommend implementing boundaries around work during your off time, prioritizing self care, and building a network of support.
Read original article at: https://www.cbsnews.com/texas/news/women-feeling-brunt-post-pandemic-stress-amid-economic-uncertainty/