What It Takes For Women’s Mental Health at Work

A conversation with the women of Mind Share Partners for Women’s History Month.

Bernie Wong | Senior Associate, Mind Share Partners

This article is also published on Mind Share Partners' "Mental Health at Work" section on Thrive Global.

March is Women’s History Month. In the last year, we’ve seen promising steps toward women’s representation and equity in the corporate context. In October 2018, California passed a law that requires publicly traded companies to have at least one woman on their board of directors. The #MeToo movement has garnered collective attention to sexual harassment in the workplace. And increasingly, the business world is attuned to the gender pay gap as well as celebrating the successes of female leaders.

Yet, these obstacles and challenges unique to the female workforce are still very real, and overcoming them is key to women’s mental health at work. Research shows that women who earn an income less than their male counterparts (matched across age, education, industry, and marital status) are are more than two times more likely to experience depression and 4 times more likely for anxiety. Negative stereotypes and perceptions of women in leadership have been related to symptoms of depression, social tension, and isolation in female leaders. Many women also face challenges as working mothers as well as detrimental effects of sexual harassment in the workplace, which happens to 80% of women. What’s more, women of color face structural challenges around equal pay and representation in leadership as well as social challenges regarding intersectional racism and sexism. Finally, among the transgender community, a historically underrepresented and under researched group, up to 90% of trans women have encountered some form of harassment on the job and face markedly higher rates of mental health conditions.

There’s still a lot of work to be done. Many women still come face-to-face with these social and structural barriers in the workplace where they spend most of their waking hours, and these challenges can lead to burnout and poor mental health. Having a company culture that is supportive of all women and their mental health is not only the right thing to do, but it gives companies a competitive advantage as well.

This month, we’re having a conversation with the women of Mind Share Partners to hear about their stories and perspectives around women, work, and mental health. In this article, we’ll hear from:

  • Kelly Greenwood, Founder & CEO of Mind Share Partners

  • Jen Anderson, Chief Operating Officer of Mind Share Partners

  • Natasha Krol, Principal at Mind Share Partners