The article aims to determine the average effect size for gender differences in work-related burnout and highlight the extent to which gender differences exist in gender-typing occupations and the degree to which labor policies are socially progressive.
The first question was raised to test a commonly held belief that women are more burnout than men. The study found that the response is in fact more nuanced. Regarding the two central burnout components, emotional exhaustion and depersonalization, women are more likely to report the former, whereas men report more the later. Additionally, these gender differences were larger in the USA compared to Europe. In turn, they did not vary in maletyped vs. female-typed professions.
The authors call for changes to reflect their findings. On the one hand, they highlight the fact that there is a danger in assuming that women are more burned out than men and that men are more resistant to stress than women, because it can result in discriminating against women on the assumption of their higher level of being affected by stress. It also means that men’s burnout experience might go unrecognized and unsolved.
By revealing the different patterns of burnout by the two sexes, the authors suggest the needs to stop using a unidimensional measure of burnout, which currently only emphasizes the emotional exhaustion dimension of burnout from the Maslach Burnout Inventory.