Newsflash: A year and a half into the COVID-19 pandemic, working womxn are even more burned out than they were last year — and increasingly more so than men. Despite this, women leaders are stepping up to support employee well-being and diversity, equity, and inclusion efforts, but that work is not getting recognized. That’s according to the latest Women in the Workplace report from McKinsey, in partnership with LeanIn.org.
The report went on to highlight that women of color continue to be on the receiving end of othering behavior, which likely only exacerbates burnout.
The way forward is crystal clear. Organizations need to honor and reward women leaders who are leading in the most challenging circumstance AND they need to do the transformative culture work required to make their spaces one in which everyone can thrive. I probably don’t need to tell you this — you’re likely living it!
But why are we feeling so burned out (current global crisis aside)?
Did you know those of us who produce estrogen actually have a higher propensity for burnout, anxiety and stress — biologically speaking. In fact, recent research has found that estrogen-producers are more sensitive to low levels of corticotropin-releasing factor (CRF), a hormone that organizes stress responses in mammals, making them twice as vulnerable as men to stress-related disorders.
The brain system involved in the fight-or-flight response is activated more readily in women and stays activated longer than men, partly as a result of the action of estrogen and progesterone.
Layer in all the invisible labor we have to do on top of the very visible labor we are doing — of course we are burned out. I’ve put together a worksheet to help you mitigate burnout and hopefully shift some of the factors exacerbating it in this moment. Use code "burnout" to access via the button below for free!
To demanding spaces where we can thrive,