Thursday , May 28 2020
Home / Women Careers / How the gender pay gap affects women’s mental health

How the gender pay gap affects women’s mental health

Experiencing the effects of the gender wage gap on a daily basis can be exhausting for women, and it can feel out of your control, Van Niel says.

“You’re often frustrated, and that gets internalized, and sometimes leads to people feeling more depressed or certainly anxious,” she says.

Women may also blame themselves for these negative circumstances, rather than realize that these are problems in the institution that need correcting, she says.

Indeed, research shows there’s a link between the increased prevalence of depression and anxiety disorders in women and the higher percentage of psycho-social stressors present in women’s lives, and those stressors include lower wages for the same work and disadvantaged social status, Maureen Sayres Van Niel, psychiatrist and president of the American Psychiatric Association Women’s Caucus, tells CNBC Make It.

And a 2016 study from Columbia University that looked at the mental health consequences of gender wage gaps found that when women make the same amount or more than their male counterparts (who are equally qualified for their jobs), their likelihood of experiencing depression and anxiety are about the same. But when women make less money, they’re 2.4 times more likely to experience depression and four times more likely to have anxiety.

In other words, this research showed that the discrimination and experiences of women that are “structurally embedded” in our society have a substantial impact on mental health,¬†Jonathan Platt, study author and Post-doctoral Merit Fellow in Epidemiology at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health, tells CNBC Make It.