The Columbia University
School of Public Health just released a study focused on the gender pay gap and mental health. The authors of the study
stopped short of concluding there was a causal relationship between women's anxiety
disorders and their level of income relative to men's, but found a quite disturbing set of correlations.
The authors of the study found a clear correlation between a woman's income level and her likelihood of experiencing anxiety and depression if she made less than a male counterpart of the same age, with the same education and within the same industry. No such increased likelihood of anxiety and depression existed when she made the same or more than a male counterpart with similar age, education and industry characteristics.
While the jobs
between the men and women in this study were not necessarily identical, the finding is still alarming. As the Washington Post article reporting on the study
points out, this extra anxiety women bear may be caused by the experience of bias that creates the pay difference in the first place (rather than the lower level of money, itself).
Moreover, this issue appears to affect women across the board: low-income earners as well as executive-level women were both affected by the mental stress that differential pay (and treatment) may be creating.
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