Burnout rates are alarmingly high for women. What’s stressing them out? 

A new study indicates workplaces are moving too slowly to resolve burnout, which is worsening for women. This week, Coach Tish unpacks the issue.

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Deloitte’s Women at Work 2022 Global Outlook is quantifying what many of us already know: The pandemic continues to take a heavy toll on women and burnout rates are alarmingly high. The responses of 5,000 women (13 percent identified as Black) in the workplace across 10 countries reveal a stark reality: Women in the workplace need support now more than ever, and if they don’t get it soon, we need to be prepared for whatever happens when one is beyond burnout. How do we even classify “I’m at my breaking point”? 

The survey found widespread burnout is being fueled by rising stress levels. A perfect, dreadful storm. About one-quarter of respondents rate their job satisfaction and motivation at work as poor or very poor and almost half are less optimistic about their career opportunities as compared to a year ago. 

Delloite’s survey also found employers aren’t entirely bending to demands to be more flexible. Just one-third of women say their employer offers flexible working policies. And when asked about policies their organization has introduced during the pandemic, only 22 percent cited flexibility around where and when they work.

And here’s the kicker: A whopping 94 percent believe that requesting a flexible working schedule will affect their likelihood of promotion. Instead, they likely just stay quiet, stay stressed and stay on the fast track to burnout. 

So what do we do about this anonymous cry for help from 5,000 women? Deloitte puts the burden to change on employers, starting with the burnout epidemic. The survey reports: 

While there can be multiple contributing factors, burnout is more likely to occur where there is a misalignment or mismatch between an individual’s expectations and the reality that they experience— including in areas such as workload and recognition. For leaders and managers, identifying and

addressing such misalignments or mismatches is critical—as is providing education, techniques, and practical tools to prevent and mitigate burnout. 

Source: Deloitte

As a career coach, I work with women daily on improving their work-life and I’ve found women who have hobbies tend to manage burnout better or avoid it altogether. As I discuss in this week’s episode of The Reset with Coach Tish, hobbies put work in perspective and research shows people who engage in leisure activities also reported better moods, more interest, less stress, and exhibited lower heart rates than when they were not engaging in leisure activity. It’s time for us to find a hobby. 

If you need a reminder of what a hobby is (I know some of you need this, it’s been too long!) A hobby is considered an activity chosen for pleasure, relaxation, or other emotional satisfaction that takes place during non-work hours. I’ve often found when women unwind and allow themselves to enjoy their time off from work, they also end up settling a work thing that was bugging them, or finally letting go of a frustration that was keeping them from being truly relaxed. 

There’s not a whole lot we can do about stressful work environments but we do have control over our own time and how we spend it. Why not pick up a hobby that not only brings us joy but knocks down the stress of work? Employers need to take note of Deloitte’s survey and start making sweeping changes—and while they slowly begin to transition to a better workplace for us all, we’ll be busy playing tennis.

Let’s talk more about it: If you haven’t already, check out this week’s episode of The Reset with Coach Tish at the top of this story.


Letisha Bereola thegrio.com

Letisha Bereola is a life coach who helps ambitious women overcome burnout and reach their career goals so they feel great at work and happy at home. She’s a former Emmy-nominated TV news anchor, Podcast host of AUDACITY and speaker. Learn more: www.coachtish.co


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