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In a recent report, nearly half (45%) of male respondents said their clear thinking was affected by stress at least five times a day, compared with just 17% of females.

The data, compiled by Paymentsense, found that although 64% of female SME leaders said they encounter a stressful event which stops them thinking clearly at least once a day, the proportion of male respondents reporting this was higher at three quarters (75%).

This trend continued at the other end of the scale. For example, almost a third of female business leaders (30%) said that such an event occurs just once a week or less frequently, compared with 19% of men. Only seven per cent of male respondents said that stress never prevents their clear thinking, compared with 11% of women.

Interestingly, the causes of this stress also varied by gender. Almost a quarter (23%) of female respondents listed customer complaints, compared with just 14% of males. Similarly, thinking about business finances was listed by 22% of female SME leaders, but only 14% of males.

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The study also suggests that female SME leaders can also deal better with common workplace stress, despite being more likely to juggle competing thoughts relating to responsibilities beyond the business.

For example, only 8% of male respondents listed childcare problems as a stress trigger compared with 15% of females. Worries about health affected almost one in six (16%) women, but just one in 10 (10%) men.

Mindfulness expert and mentor to entrepreneurs, Jacqui Macdonald, commented on the findings, “This study certainly chimes with my own experiences of coaching business leaders. Three-quarters of my clients are female, suggesting that women could be more open to stress-management techniques such as mindfulness. It’s worrying to see just how often stress is damaging business leaders’ performance, not to mention personal health.

“My advice to both male and female business leaders who feel frequently distracted by daily stresses is to acknowledge that it’s impairing your ability to lead, and that you need support. You can’t go it alone, and you can certainly learn to improve your focus and resilience.”

Why Thousands of Contractors Choose Dolan Accountancy

With over 25 years experience in contractor accountancy helping thousands of contractors, freelancers and the self employed, Dolan Accountancy has the specialist skills, reputation and credibility you can trust.

Working closely with our sister company, Contractor Umbrella, it means we can offer one low cost, fixed fee package at £105 + VAT. This gives you the flexibility of using both our Limited Company Accountancy Services and our award winning Umbrella Service, for one inclusive cost.

If you’d like to find out more about how Dolan Accountancy can help you and your business, please give us a call on 01442 795 100 or email or

We don’t believe in tiered packages or hidden extra fees, instead we aim to give you everything you need, including:

  • Free Company Formation – This is where it all begins. Once you have decided on an available name, we will form your company free of charge (if using our accountancy services) and it will be ready for you to use in as little as three hours
  • Free use of Contractor Umbrella – With IR35 Legislation changes we understand that sometimes you are required to contract via an umbrella company. We will keep your limited company ticking over, while you work margin free via our sister company, Contractor Umbrella
  • A Dedicated Accountant – Your accountant will be there for any company or personal tax advice that you require. We will never outsource work, even to internal teams
  • Free Access to FreeAgent – We offer all of our clients access to FreeAgent, free of charge
  • Free Business Banking – We have decided to waive our commission so our clients can use Tide free of charge for the first year
  • Unlimited IR35 Status Reviews – We will review all of your contracts for IR35 purposes and provide you with our professional opinion as to its status
  • Free Registered and Director’s Service Office Address – Sometimes you just don’t want your home address on display at Companies House. When you sign up to our accountancy services, we will offer the use of our address as an alternative
  • Your Business and Personal Taxation Needs – This includes Company Accounts, Director’s Personal Tax Return, VAT Returns, Payroll, Corporation Tax and Dividend advice, to name just a few

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