New study shows that “burn out” has superseded hope for many women in Utah

The first of a series of related reports produced by Dr. Susan R. Madsen, Dr. Jared Hansen and Dr. Chris Hartwell was released early last week. These reports, which consider the specific implications of the COVID-19 pandemic on women, have significant findings according to experts in the field. 

“This report is very unique in that we had a sample size of over 3,500. That is pretty significant,” said Madsen. 

Among some of their more compelling findings, Madsen claims, is the comparison of burnout to hope. The study found that among the women who participated, there was an overwhelming sense of burnout — one which surpasses the consensus of hope during these unprecedented times. 9.2% define themselves as “burnt out” and correlate this feeling with their leaving the workplace. 

The impact of burn out on the human psyche, should be considered by employers and lawmakers, according to Madsen and her team. This series of reports aims to call attention to such issues, in hopes of remedying them in the future. 

“We really want to lead change on these issues,” Madsen said. 

Madsen added that there are very limited resources for working women who have children. She believes that this report proves that some of the burn out which these women are experiencing comes from a lack of resources aiding them through difficult times. 

The report concludes with a call to action, urging government leaders and employers to “do more to understand the physical, behavioral, and emotional effects that Utah women are facing related to COVID-19.” 

“We encourage leaders to do more to implement strategies and facilitate communication to support the working women of Utah,” the report writes.

In addition to the burn out discovery, Madsen and her team found that 15.9% of the women who participated in the study had withdrawn from the workplace since March 2020. Among the most common reasons women left the workplace were child care, at 15.4%, and a reduction in employers’ business, with 16.2% of participants citing this. 

In the reports that will proceed this one, Madsen and her colleagues intend to closely examine the requirement of childcare as a reason for having to leave work, and following other avenues of research this initial study highlighted. 

“We really wanted to get an idea of how this pandemic has impacted women in the workplace. We got a lot of information on it and look forward to focusing our data,” said Madsen. 

The team will continue analyzing their data and plan to release their next report at the beginning of May. To read the report in its entirety, please visit UTwomen.org. More information on the study and release dates for future reports are listed there as well. 

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