It’s not unusual for young women aged 18-34, as well as high schoolers, to overindulge; 1 in 8 women and 1 in 5 high school girls report drinking to excess, but binge drinking accounts for about 23,000 deaths among women and girls in the U.S. each year.
Women are drinking in work related situations more than ever. It isn’t just male professionals drinking on the job anymore. In this era of greater gender equality — and less workplace debauchery — is it helpful or detrimental for women to drink with their colleagues? This is the question the Atlantic‘s Alexandra Chang posed on January 7th.
Chang said she rarely drinks at work events and “tend[s] to avoid situations where drinking is likely to be happening” but worries that she’s missing out on potential bonding with her coworkers as a result. A friend of Chang’s who also passes on alcohol at work concurs recalled that one female colleague wouldn’t even talk to her until she attended a work-related drinking event. Chang suggested that the pressure to drink may be greater for women working in male-dominated fields like finance and technology.
But the consequences of drinking may also be greater for women, she noted. If women who choose office sobriety run the risk of missing out on coworker bonding, they also avoid the potentially negative consequences of having one drink too many. (After all, no one wants to make a fool of themselves in front of their boss.) Leah Epstein, founder of the website Drinking Diaries told Chang that mixed-gender workplace functions hold extra concerns for women. “A woman drinking with a group of men in a work-related situation could cross into flirtation and the sexual. She might be stigmatized,” Epstein said.
Do you drink too much when you are out with work colleagues or clients?
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