Study Finds Women Faculty Experience More Stress Than Men in Higher Education

Article excerpt

COLUMBIA, Mo.

In today's workforce, stress is more prevalent than ever. While demands and pressures are the main fuel for the fire, gender can also play a key role. A new study from the University of Missouri-Columbia identifies factors causing female faculty in higher education to experience more stress than men and offers suggestions for reducing the stress load for women.

"Often in higher education, women are not taken seriously when they voice their concerns about work environments and pressures," says Dr. Jennifer Hart, assistant professor in MU's department of educational leadership and policy analysis, who conducted the study with Dr. Christine Cress of Portland State University. "This study pinpoints specific stress sources for women and outlines certain steps to be taken to ensure their workload and stress levels are equal to those of their male counterparts."

Faculty members from a large southwestern university participated in Hart's study, which used a series of surveys and focus groups to analyze individuals based on stress-causing factors in their professions. Each participant addressed three key topics in their responses, including factors contributing to success, factors hindering or impeding success and recommendations for change.

Results from Hart's study concluded that teaching loads, students, publishing and research demands, review and promotion processes and committee work produced much more stress for women than men. …