Women experience "three ages of worry", new research reveals

Press Release

British women experience three distinct “ages of worry” with each period associated with a different area of concern, new research reveals.

The focus of female anxiety differs significantly for different age groups, with relative worries about romance peaking among women aged between 45 and 54 years old.

One concern, however, remains at a high level and more-or-less constant for women of every age: money.

Conducted by mentoring enterprise Tessy’s Brunches, the new research shows that:

- Women aged between 21 and 34 are most likely to be worried about their mental health, their careers, and their friendships.
- Women aged between 45 and 54 are most likely to be worried about their romantic relationships.
- Women aged 65 and over are most likely to be worried about their families.

Commenting on the data, Tessy’s Brunches founder Tessy Ojo CBE, said:

“This research shows how the pressures facing modern working women are constant and ever-changing.

“Women face intense social pressure to succeed in so many areas of their lives. Trying to live up to these expectations imposes a huge psychological burden which, if not addressed, can ruin lives.

“If we wish to improve this, then the first step must surely be to recognise that these barriers to female success and happiness exist.”

Gleaned from a poll of 1,000 working women across the UK, the data shows how female concerns vary at different times of life. It exposes how:

- Young women’s relatively high worries about mental health and career reduce to near zero for women aged 65 and over.
- While worries about the health and wellbeing of family are the primary concern of 13% of younger women, this triples to 37% for women aged over 65.
- Romantic worries are the main worry of 13% of women aged 45 to 54, compared to eight percent of young women and one percent of older women.
- Money is a significant worry for women of all age groups. 21% of younger women report it as their primary concern; compared to 29% of middle-aged women; and 16% percent of older women.
Chart shows selected responses to the question: “What is your primary concern right now?”, with responses expressed as percentages (full data below)

Biochemist and entrepreneur Tessy Ojo CBE is the chief executive of the Diana Award charity, which mentors young people from difficult backgrounds.

Concerned by the wasted potential of the many dynamic women she encountered in her charity role she founded Tessy’s Brunches as a forum for female self-improvement.

Tessy Ojo CBE said: “This research illustrates the depth and breadth of the pressures facing modern women. But the results should not be surprising.

“I have lost count of the number of women who have told me how they have forgone developing one area of their lives due to the pressure of their caring responsibility.

“Reducing working hours, opting out of volunteering roles which can improve transferable skills or cutting out social interactions: these are the compromises working women make.

“Nor should it be a surprise that middle aged women worry about their romantic relationships: this period of life is often when partnerships come under their greatest strain.

“The barriers to female happiness and success are often invisible - and because women prioritise other people this doesn’t change.

“We need to get together to acknowledge the pressures they face; and work together to help each other overcome them.”

Tessy’s Brunches is holding a gala launch event at the London Hilton on Park Lane on Monday December 20th at which women from a cross sector of society, media and VIPs will come together to discuss the organisation’s research and attempt to establish what can be done to improve on them.

The discussion will be facilitated ITV Loose Women presenter Andrea McLean, singer and vocal coach Carrie Grant, actor Chizzy Akudolu, and radio presenter Angie Greaves.


Dan Newling dan@j-hcommunications.com / 07802 596 212
Tessy Ojo tessy.ojo@diana-award.org.uk / 07435 788038  

Conducted by OnePoll, the survey asked the following question to 1,000 women aged 21 across the UK: “If you had to choose, which of the following, if any, are you most concerned about currently?”.
- Possible responses were “my physical health”, “my mental health”, “my career”, “my finances”, “my romantic relationships”, “my family”, “my friendships”, and “none of the above”.
- The survey’s full results area shown below, with responses expressed as percentages.
- Tessy’s Brunches was established by Tessy Ojo CBE to “help unseen women become visible”.
- The organisation aims to do this establishing mentoring communities in which women can help each other achieve personal and professional success.
- The organisation will hold a large-scale brunch event every quarter throughout 2023 at which women will gather for life-changing conversations, speed-mentoring, and discussion about how to work to empower each other.
- More information at www.tessysbrunches.com; and @tessysbrunches; @tessyojo.