Women in High Positions, More Likely to Suffer Depression

February 2, 2015

Unlocking Word Meanings

Read the following words/expressions found in today’s article. 

1. executive /ɪgˈzɛk yə tɪv/ (adj.) – referring to a job that has managerial or administrative authority in a workplace
Example: People with the most business experience and knowledge often have executive positions.

2. prone /proʊn/ (adj.) – having more chances to experience something
Example: He is prone to stumbling on his feet because he is clumsy.

3. longitudinal /ˌlɒn dʒɪˈtud n l, -ˈtyud-/ (adj.) – referring to a something repeated in different or long periods of time
Example: The professor conducted a longitudinal study from 2000 to 2010.

4. stereotype /ˈstɛr i əˌtaɪp, ˈstɪər-/ (n.) – an overgeneralized belief about a person or a group of people
Example: The stereotype that Asians are good in Math is still prevalent in the United States.

5. prejudice /ˈprɛdʒ ə dɪs/ (n.) – a prejudgment that undervalues or belittles someone without good reason or logic
Example: A common prejudice about women is that they are incompetent or unreliable drivers. 


Read the text below.
The risk of falling into depression is higher for women in executive positions compared with men, a recent study claims.

Female corporate leaders have powerful authority in the workplace—including hiring and firing employees, and deciding the salaries of their workforce. However, the study reports that because of this overwhelming authority, female bosses become more prone to mental stress. In fact, the power to hire and fire people has the most negative effect on women’s mental health.

The study’s findings are based on two sources of data. The first is from an ongoing research called the Wisconsin Longitudinal Study (WLS), which began in 1957. Among the 10,000 WLS respondents, 1,302 men and 1,507 women were chosen as participants of the research.

The researchers then conducted their own interviews on these participants as their second source of data. In the interviews, participants were asked job-related questions that are associated with 16 depression symptoms. Each participant was interviewed twice, first in 1993 and then in 2004.

Aside from the stresses of authoritative power, the study’s findings proved that issues of stereotypes and prejudice are still common in the workplace. The researchers stated that unlike men, women in authoritative positions constantly face high expectations because of their gender. If women fail to assert their authority, they are likely to suffer criticism and resistance from co-workers.

The researchers stressed the need for more psychological studies on women leaders. They believe that more research on the issue will find ways to help women leaders overcome mental stress while maintaining their positions.

Viewpoint Discussion

Enjoy a discussion with your tutor.  

Discussion A

·         Do you think that stereotypes and prejudice in the workplace is an issue in your country? Why or why not?
·         What other forms of stress do bosses usually have to deal with? Please discuss briefly.

Discussion B

·         What do you think would be a good way to deal with stress in the workplace? Please explain your answer.
·         What do you think would be a good way to prevent stereotype and prejudice in the workplace? Please explain your answer.

February 2, 2015