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The BBC's Karen Bowerman
"It's a daily struggle"
 real 28k

Thursday, 8 June, 2000, 06:18 GMT 07:18 UK
Women: 'Underpaid and overworked'
Household chores
Women juggle domestic and professional tasks
More than three quarters of working women say they are disillusioned with their jobs, research reveals.

Most of them are stressed, while 93% of working mothers find it difficult to juggle a career with family life, according to the survey of 5,000 women in the UK.

But the office romance is alive and well. One-in-three women admitted to a sexual relationship with a male colleague while 12% said they had had a fling with their boss.

Many of those questioned said they were overworked, underpaid and at "breaking point" from stress, causing them to shout at their children.

Three-out-of-four women believe their health is suffering because of career stress

Top Sante survey

About 77% feel they have to work much harder than men to gain promotion, even though they feel they have better communication and organisational skills.

Working mothers feel they are emotionally damaging their children and putting their own health at risk by working. Three-out-of-four believe that career stress is causing their health to suffer.

Those questioned blamed a lack of support from both their managers and their partners for their problems.

The survey reveals that women are finding it equally difficult both at home and in the workplace.

At home, women are continuing to do the bulk of the household chores.

Even where both they and their partners are working, 80% say they do most of the housework and have the main responsibility for their children.

And four-out-of-five say being a working mother emotionally damages their children while more than half say they have shouted at their children because they felt stressed.

Workplace stress

At work, women feel they have to work much harder than men to get promotion and many believe having a baby damages their career prospects.

Just 6% have access to a company crèche and less than half say their bosses make allowances for working mothers.

A large proportion think they are underpaid and 62% believe they are overworked. Just one-in-five is happy with their career choice.

Maureen Moore, a stress management trainer in Hertfordshire, suggested women could reduce their stress levels by working less.

Stress occurs when people lose or perceive they have lost control

Maureen Moore, stress management trainer
"Stress occurs when people lose or perceive they have lost personal control.

"I think women could reduce their stress levels by deciding not to emulate the ethos within the company where people start early and leave late."

The survey, carried out for women's magazine Top Sante also reveals that many believe their female colleagues are 'their worst enemies in the workplace'.

A majority believes their female bosses are the hardest taskmasters and most say working women are more aggressive than men.

Four-out-of-five women say they would give up their jobs if they did not need the money.

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08 Apr 99 | Health
Stress at work debate begins
15 Jan 99 | Health
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