Life

Study confirms what we long-suspected: men are “more emotional” at work than women

Posted by
Jessica Rapana
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A new study has found that men are up to three times more emotional than women in the workplace, finally dismantling this toxic stereotype for good.

For as long as women have been in the workplace, they have also been fending off the sexist (and totally unfounded) narrative that they are more “emotional” than their male counterparts.

However, a new study has dismantled this toxic stereotype for good after a survey of 2,250 workers found that men are more emotional than women at work.

According to the findings, men are twice as likely to get emotional when their “ideas weren’t heard” or because they “were criticised”. 

What’s more, they were three times more likely to feel emotional if a project went over budget, missed a deadline or got cancelled.

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Terri Simpkin, a senior lecturer in leadership and corporate education at Anglia Ruskin University, pointed out that men and women have been “socialised to display emotions differently, especially at work”.

“Men are more likely to report experiencing emotions associated with power, such as anger or pride,” she said. “In fact, emotions and power are inextricably linked. Not being heard is congruent with lacking in status. Similarly, sadness is associated with a lack of power in social settings such as the workplace.”

women in a work meeting
Women and men are socialised to display emotion differently, especially at work

This is something Nell Scovell experienced first-hand when working on TV shows, such as Late Night with David Letterman, The Simpsons and Newhart, when she was usually the only female writer in the room. 

“Like a lot of women in the workplace, I was aware of this bias, so I made a conscious effort to not give anyone the chance to label me as “crazy” or “difficult”, she wrote in an essay for Oprah.com.

“Be being tough and unemotional, I was not acting ‘like a man’. Just the opposite. My male colleagues emoted like crazy. After a tough notes session with the network, a male writer walked into the room, screamed an obscenity and threw his script across the table.

“It struck me that anger is an emotion too. But nobody thought he was ‘hysterical’. When a man storms out of the room, he’s passionate. When a woman storms out, she’s unstable and unprofessional.”

The study exposes yet another double-standard that women face at work. 

Worse still, this bias continues to perpetuate the dangerous myth that women are too emotional, which suggests they aren’t capable of coping with the kinds of responsibilities and positions that are necessary if we are ever going to achieve true equality in the workplace and pay equality across the board.

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Jessica Rapana

Jessica Rapana is a journalist based in London, and enjoys writing across all areas of women’s lifestyle content. She is especially fond of news, health, entertainment and travel content, and drinks coffee like a Gilmore Girl.

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