Stressed Career Women Need Support From Friends More Than From Family – OpEd


The survey findings from Rakuten Insight in Malaysia underscore the significant gender discrepancy in the experiences of stress and anxiety. While 54 percent of female respondents reported increased levels of stress or anxiety in the past year, only 38 percent of male respondents noted a similar experience. This difference suggests that men and women in Malaysia may face distinct challenges or coping mechanisms when it comes to managing stress and anxiety.

One crucial aspect of support for individuals experiencing stress is the role of family and friends. Both forms of support are important but can differ in their impact. According to a study, in Malaysia, friendship support may play a more significant role for career women. This could be due to the specific nature of the stressors they face, such as balancing work and family responsibilities, navigating workplace dynamics, or societal expectations regarding gender roles.

Friendship support can provide women with understanding, empathy, and practical advice related to their careers. Friends may offer a listening ear, share similar experiences, or provide insights that family members, who may not be in the same professional or social circles, cannot. This type of support can be invaluable in helping women navigate the complexities of their careers while managing stress and anxiety.

On the other hand, family support, while equally important, may manifest differently. Family members, especially immediate family, can offer unconditional love, stability, and a sense of belonging, which are crucial for overall well-being. They may provide emotional support, reassurance, and practical help, contributing to a sense of security and comfort during challenging times.

In conclusion, the gender differences in stress and anxiety experiences highlighted by the survey suggest that tailored approaches to support may be beneficial. Recognizing the distinct needs of men and women, especially in the context of career aspirations, can help in providing more effective support systems and interventions for managing stress and anxiety.

Dr. Nur Salimah Alias

Dr. Nur Salimah Alias is a Senior Lecturer at the Faculty of Business & Communication, Universiti Malaysia Perlis.

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