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The Globe and Mail

Women more likely to tough it out at work when sick

Many women don't take a sick day unless it is for vomiting, flu or high temperature, a study shows.


Think about that colleague of yours who, despite suffering from half-hourly sneezing fits and a persistent, mucous-filled cough, still shows up to work to be a "hero." Is the perpetrator a man or a woman?

According to a study of 1,000 male and 1,000 female workers in Britain completed by the Benenden Healthcare Society (as reported by The Daily Mail), women are more likely to tough it out when they get sick, forcing themselves to go to the office, whereas men stay home at the first signs of illness.

While men stayed in bed when they had hay fever, a sore throat or a headache, women took sick days for vomiting, flu or high temperature, according to the study.

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"They might succumb to illness more easily, but women come out on top when it comes to dedication to work," Lawrence Christensen, a spokesperson for the health-care society, told the Daily Mail. "Many men will pick up the phone as soon as they feel a little under the weather, while women soldier on for longer."

But while many women feel guilty about taking a sick day, according to the study, they should also feel guilty about showing up for work if they're clearly under the weather and whining about their symptoms.

Thirty-seven per cent of participants said they'd rather their sick colleagues spent the day at home instead of bringing their germs to the office or complaining about being sick.

What does it take for you to call in sick? Is a sneeze enough or do you have to be completely out of commission?

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About the Author

Dakshana Bascaramurty is a national news reporter who writes about race and ethnicity. She won a 2013 National Newspaper Award in beat reporting for her coverage of changing demographics in the 905 region. Previously, she was a feature writer for Globe Life. More

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