Report: Stress, Gender, and Leadership

Being at the top is stressful, or so we are told. After all, top executives have high-powered, demanding stressful roles, don’t they? Surely that is one reason why they earn the big bucks. In fact, research suggests otherwise. It is the combination of lack of control, lack of support, and high job demands that lead to stress, and although the top jobs are demanding, senior executives have more control over their actions than others do. So the people at the top tend to report less stress. Lack of control is one reason why many people are feeling stressed during the COVID-19 crisis; we have very little control over the course of the disease, or over how government policy will affect our jobs. In regular times, senior executives have (or feel they have) more control over their fates than others do, and as a result, are in general less stressed.

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