Ladies, take note: a new study has found that working in a male-heavy environment is bad for you.
Researchers from Indiana University Bloomington found that in industries which are male-dominated such as science, tech and engineering, 'token' female employees showed chronic dysregulation in their levels of cortisol, the stress hormone.
Previous research has shown that women working in fields made up of more than 85 per cent men face several challenges, including social isolation, sexual harassment, colleagues' doubts about their competence, and a glass ceiling when it comes to promotions.
"We find that such women are more likely to experience exposure to high levels of interpersonal, workplace stressors," researcher Bianca Manago said in a statement.
Prolonged exposure to these factors causes imbalances in the body's natural fluctuation of cortisol throughout the day, which is known to cause an increased vulnerability to disease and mortality in subjects.
Professor Cate Taylor said in a statement:
Our project provides evidence that the negative workplace social climates encountered by women in male-dominated occupations may be linked to later negative health outcomes for these women.