Power can be a downer for women in the workplace, but men tend to feel happier when they’re in charge, claims a study released Thursday. Women with the ability to hire, fire and influence pay seem more prone to depression symptoms — and their mood drops aren't fueled by male-female salary disparities, researchers found.
“Women in authority positions are evaluated more stringently compared to women without job authority and male co-workers. Higher-status women are often exposed to overt and subtle gender discrimination and harassment. This contributes to chronic stress,” said Tetyana Pudrovska, lead author and an assistant sociology professor University of Texas.
Researchers drew their conclusions from a longitudinal study of 1,300 men and 1,500 women in Wisconsin who were surveyed repeatedly between 1957 and 2004. The paper was published in the December issue of the Journal of Health and Social Behavior.
The study found that males in the corner offices likely feel fewer aggravations than female bosses or guys in lower ranks because they don’t have to overcome the social resistance women often face, Pudrovska said. Having men run things is the “expected status hierarchy.” That traditional structure may enhance the psychological rewards that come with their big titles.