When it comes to money and financial stress, women and men are not created equal.

Despite the fact that women make up roughly half the U.S. workforce, many employers don’t recognize and aren’t prepared to solve to unique financial stress points facing female employees. In her recent article for Shortlister, Best Money Moves Founder and CEO Ilyce Glink took a hard look at how financial stress affects American women – and what their employers can do to help:

More than half of all college graduates are women and women make up just under 50 percent of applicants to the top business schools. Yet by the time they graduate and enter the workforce, women are paid a median salary that’s 81 percent of what their male colleagues make, according to data from the US Department of Labor.

And the picture isn’t much better at home. Whether through choice or cultural expectation, women continue to take the lionshare of housework and child rearing duties and spend an average of 2.6 hours completing these tasks compared to 2 hours for men.

Between being underappreciated at work and overworked at home, it’s not hard to imagine why women feel overwhelmed. The problem is compounded by the reality of financial stress. Roughly 75 percent of Americans don’t have any savings to fall back and many live paycheck to paycheck. More than half of all workers admit to feeling financially stressed, costing business an estimated $250 billion a year in lost productivity and absenteeism, according to one Mercer study.

That’s a ton of stress to deal with all at once, which is why it comes as no surprise that women report higher percentages of stress than men. Your employees shouldn’t have to worry about staying financially stable paycheck to paycheck. Take action and provide relief for your workforce by:

  • Instituting recognition and rewards programs.
  • Acknowledging that financial stress is an issue for your workforce.
  • Creating new job sharing and flex opportunities.

If employers can help the women on their workforce deal better with stress at home, work and in their wallets, then they’re sure to see huge improvements across the board.

This is all only a piece of the picture. For a full look at women and financial stress, read the full blog post on Shortlister.