Municipal workplaces have high levels of sickness absence, and deterioration of the psychosocial work environment has been most pronounced for women and employees in this sector of Swedish working life. This study explores how female leaders in one rural municipality in Sweden experience their psychosocial working conditions and its health consequences. Interviews were carried out with 20 female leaders. Data were analyzed with a content analysis method using major dimensions of work stress models. These were job demands, job control, job resources, social support, and its health consequences. The analysis shows that the leaders experience high and conflicting job demands, limited possibilities to influence their work situation, insufficient job resources and social support, and limited time for their own health promotion. However, the leaders experience possibilities to develop skills in their jobs and opportunities to participate in educational programs. The analyses confirm the need for improvements in the prerequisites for female leaders in public human service organizations. It is important to improve female leaders' psychosocial working conditions by implementing a more narrow control range, increased personal and economical recourses, leadership support, and leader development programs.
2013. Vol. 4
Female leaders; psychosocial working conditions; job demands; job control; job resources; social support; health consequences; human service organizations