Canadian Journal of Public Health

, Volume 89, Issue 1, pp 48–52 | Cite as

Management of Family and Workplace Stress Experienced by Women of Colour from Various Cultural Backgrounds

  • Basanti Majumdar
  • Shelina Ladak


Minority women identify finances and maintaining cultural values as their most commonly experienced stressors at home and in the workplace.

A before and after study of ethnic minority women in focus group sessions led by a trained ethnic minority facilitator examined how social and workplace supports, or lack thereof, impact on the individuals’ ability to manage daily life. Creative, effective solutions to stressors were identified by the participants. Outcomes were evaluated in terms of the impact of changes on the participants’ coping styles in family and work life.

Results indicate that a large percentage of women in this study felt discriminated against based on their culture/race, however, this perceived discrimination decreased after the focus groups. The predominant stress management techniques were prayer and music. Family support was the most influential factor in decreasing stress. The family is a major source of support for the working women, acting as a buffer to workplace pressures.


Les femmes des minorités visibles identifient les difficultés financières et le maintien des valeurs culturelles comme leurs deux principaux facteurs de stress, tant au foyer qu’au travail.

Une étude des femmes des minorités visibles, faite avant et après des réunions de groupes types animées par un spécialiste du milieu, a examiné l’impact de la disponibilité ou du manque d’appuis sociaux et au travail sur l’aptitude de ces femmes à gérer leur quotidien. Les participantes ont proposé des solutions imaginatives et efficaces pour contrer ces facteurs de stress. Les résultats ont été évalués en termes d’impact des changements subséquents sur les aptitudes des participantes à faire face au sein de la famille et au travail.

Les résultats indiquent qu’un pourcentage élevé des participantes à cette étude avaient le sentiment de faire l’objet de discriminations basées sur leur culture/ethnie; toutefois, cette perception diminuait après les réunions des groupes types. Les principales techniques de gestion du stress étaient la prière et la musique. Le soutien familial était le plus important facteur de diminution du stress. La famille représente une grande source d’appui pour les femmes qui travaillent; ce soutien agit comme un tampon de protection contre les pressions découlant du travail professionnel.


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Copyright information

© The Canadian Public Health Association 1998

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Faculty of Health Sciences, Room 3N28McMaster UniversityHamiltonCanada

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