Women and Work Stress: More and Different?

  • Astrid M. RichardsenEmail author
  • Laura E. M. Traavik
  • Ronald J. Burke
Part of the International Handbooks of Quality-of-Life book series (IHQL)


This chapter reviews research on job stress and how it affects working women. Using an occupational stress framework we identify some of the stressors that are most relevant for women within and between occupations, discuss how women experience these stressors in comparison to men, give a review of the research specifically on female managers, and lastly we examine approaches for lessening the negative consequences of these stressors in a work life context. From the research on how women experience stress, and the stressors they are exposed to, it seems that on average they face more and different stressors than most men. Research shows that women and men at the managerial level share some common work stressors, however, women also experience unique sources of stress. It is imperative that organizations recognize these unique and general stressors that women face and set up policies to reduce stress and increase wellbeing. Future research areas are discussed.


Work stress Working women Women managers Gender differences Well-being Organizational initiatives 



Preparation of this chapter was supported in part by the Schulich School of Business, York University and BI Norwegian Business School.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media Dordrecht 2016

Authors and Affiliations

  • Astrid M. Richardsen
    • 1
    Email author
  • Laura E. M. Traavik
    • 1
  • Ronald J. Burke
    • 2
  1. 1.Department of Leadership and Organizational BehaviourBI Norwegian Business SchoolOsloNorway
  2. 2.Schulich School of BusinessYork UniversityTorontoCanada

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