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2023 KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit Survey on Women, Work, and Well-Being: Majority of Executive Women See an Exponential Surge in Workplace Stress

KPMG’s fifth annual study examines how stress impacts women in the workplace


June 21, 2023 – According to a recent survey conducted by KPMG LLP, the U.S. audit, tax, and advisory firm, executive women perceive an exponential surge of stress in the workplace compared to pre-pandemic levels. The stress is attributed to increased workload and expectations tied to managing the mental health of their teams in addition to their own.

The annual study considered insights from over 1,500 executive women from leading companies across the United States who are past participants of the KPMG Women's Leadership Summit on mental health in the workplace and the importance of prioritizing well-being.

Key findings:

Stress at work continues to escalate

  • 91% of executive women perceive an exponential surge of stress in the workplace compared with pre-pandemic levels.
  • 70% of executive women attribute higher stress in the workplace to increased workloads and expectations.
  • 58% of executive women report added responsibilities stemming from the need to help manage their teams’ mental health and wellness on top of their own.

Executive women prioritize self-care and seek support

  • 79% of executive women report that wellness has become increasingly critical to their job success over the past couple of years.
  • 79% of executive women have prioritized wellness by scheduling time for self-care, setting boundaries, focusing on healthy habits, connecting with others and seeking support.
  • To support the mental health and wellness of their teams, executive women show authenticity and empathy (58%) while leading by example through setting boundaries (54%) and prioritizing time out of the office (52%). 
  • 87% of executive women report intentionally giving themselves downtime for self-care, and 69 percent report making sacrifices to make time for wellness.
  • Almost all (98%) of the women executives surveyed prioritize spending quality time with family and friends.

Women want more support from employers on mental health and well-being

  • While our findings indicate a deeper understanding of the positive impacts when organizations create and sustain wellness initiatives for leaders and their teams, 71% of executive women say organizations need to do more for leaders who are supporting their employees’ mental health and well-being while managing their own — especially during challenging times.

The KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit

The KPMG Women’s Leadership Summit, now in its ninth year, continues to build a pipeline of women leaders on the path to the C-suite. Through high-impact leadership development content, access to today’s top leaders, and year-long networking opportunities, KPMG aims to provide support to these women as they advance in their careers. 

Dive into our thinking:

Advancing the Future of Women in Business

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