Close this search box.
Story Events
Emirates Old Trafford
Smart Group - Electric Xmas

Female workplace resilience dives 68% vs males, says study

Findings from a new report have revealed new insights into UK workplace resilience and wellbeing across age, sector, staff level and gender categories, suggesting the groups that could potentially be most at risk of burnout.

The Wraw Resilience Report examined resilience and wellbeing data across almost 9,500 employees between July 2018 and January 2021 and showed that female resilience declined on average 68% compared to male resilience after the onset of Covid in March 2020. This could suggest the possible additional pressures amongst many females trying to balance the needs of a family and other domestic responsibilities while working from home during this highly stressful period.

Key Report Findings

The findings, based on results from a self-report questionnaire, also show that, on average, resilience increases with age, with the over-55 age group having the highest results and, in particular, scoring higher on motivation and self-belief.  Different work sectors also had a strong bearing on the findings:-

  • Private sector workers report 11% higher scores on workplace wellbeing than those working in third sector/non-profit and 4% higher than those in the public sector. These results suggest that third sector/non-profit workers are more likely to be feeling the effects of challenges, setbacks and adversities than those in other sectors.
  • Private sector workers report higher results in terms of having a sense of direction, purpose and control in what they are doing, with scores that are 14% higher than third sector/non-profit workers and 4% higher than public sector workers in terms of their ‘Future Focus’.
  • Full-time (non-shift) workers appear to be the most resilient overall, with results that are as much as 23% higher on average than part-time shift workers.
  • Those in part-time shift roles report the lowest scores on average across all categories.

It is clear that employee wellbeing is vital for a prosperous economy. According to 2020 data from the UK Health and Safety Executive (HSE), 51% of all work-related ill-health, and 43% of all working days lost due to ill-health, are attributed to stress, depression or anxiety. Resilience – the ability to bounce back after adversity, is a key element within wellbeing as it helps an individual to recover, reset, and resume.

The Wraw report findings are published as the UK continues to report on the ‘great resignation’ – a post-pandemic exodus of employees leaving their jobs.  According to research from HR software firm Personio, four in ten employees (38%) in the UK and Ireland were planning to change roles in the next six to 12 months or once the economy had stabilized – rising to 55% of 18-34 year olds.

Sam Fuller, Director and Founder of the Wraw Index, said: “The workforce has been through an exceptionally turbulent 18 months and these findings indicate those groups who may be at greatest risk of burnout and suffering a decline in their wellbeing. Gaining a clearer picture of resilience and wellbeing across the workplace enables organisations to target support and interventions where they’re needed the most.

“Stress, depression and anxiety are significant factors contributing to employee absence. As well as the huge personal impact on individuals, these place a considerable and often long-term cost on businesses to provide sick pay and resources for alternate cover. As we get back on track in 2021, it is more important than ever that business leaders create safe and supportive working environments that enable individuals to be as resilient, agile, healthy and solution-focused as possible, to help them recover and thrive. Investing in ways to support resilience, with the resultant improvements in motivation, loyalty and performance, will help individuals fulfil their potential and businesses to prosper.”

According to the report, position on the career ladder is also a significant factor in resilience. Directors and senior executives report having significantly higher resilience results than individuals at all other levels, with scores that are as much as 28% higher than students and 23% higher than non-managers on average.

They also report having higher levels of ‘Inner Drive’, indicating a greater sense of self-belief and more motivation to persevere through setbacks than other groups.  This suggests that individuals earlier in their careers may benefit from additional support in their resilience and wellbeing, which could in turn encourage greater staff retention and career progression.

The Wraw Resilience Report 2021 is a comprehensive report into employee resilience and wellbeing, analysing findings from almost 9,500 workers globally, which is believed to be one of the largest datasets of its kind.

Crucially, almost half of the data was collected pre-pandemic, from July 2018, with the rest  from March 2020 to January 2021.

For more information and to read the full report here.