Submitted by Kelly Afsahi from Biozenic

Despite holding 47% of all jobs, women account for fewer than one-third of American CEOs. It’s a disparity that’s as glaring as it is familiar to those who follow gender equality. But the view from the top can overlook an equally severe threat to the management pipeline: How women and men experience the workplace differently as they climb the corporate ladder.

In researching the 2017 Best Workplaces for Women, Biozenic uncovered important gaps in how women and men feel in their workplace environment, as well as encouraging factors that can improve the wellbeing of all women in business.

Same Office Space, Different Surroundings
Roughly 40% of managers are women, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, and they fill a disproportionate share of leadership roles in several industries. A study by Exeter University revealed that when surveyed, women in leadership roles felt increased happiness when their offices were filled with 3 or more plants. Women managers felt their environment was uplifting, allowed for increased growth potential, and felt overwhelming more comfortable in their work setting when surrounded by plants.

At work, plants (especially those with broad leaves on your desk) will help regulate humidity and increase levels of positivity — seeing greenery and nature help us feel more relaxed and calm, which in turn benefits your everyday mood. Indoor plants serve a practical and aesthetic purpose and have been proven to enhance your life.

What We Know
Harvard Business Review’s meta-analysis of 225 academic studies found a strong correlation between happiness, and successful business outcomes. Women who feel confident at work, and are operating at maximum efficiency, low-stress levels, have a higher success rate of career promotion. When working in a man-dominated industry, stress is unavoidable. However, according to a large study conducted by BioMed Central, the presence of plants helps lessen the effects of that stress. The presence of plants mitigates stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression, fatigue, and hostility through the suppression of sympathetic nervous system activity, diastolic blood pressure and promotion of comfortable, soothed, and natural feelings.

The reduction of stress then contributes to an increase in your overall health, which leads to higher productivity levels in the workplace.

We’ve known about the importance of work environments for some time now. In a 2003 survey by Management Today, 97 percent of respondents said they regard their workplace as a symbol of whether or not they are valued by their employer. While this shouldn’t come as a surprise, there’s a disheartening new layer to the story. According to a more recent survey of 1,000 women who work in traditional offices, many employers fail to create inspiring, uplifting work environments. If you are looking to increase productivity, happiness, and possibly your paycheck…it’s time to purchase some plants and beautiful pots for your office space!

State of the American Workplace Report – 2013

Kelly is the founder and CEO of Biozenic, LLC, a plant -based interior design company headquartered in San Diego, California. Her passion for nature, health, and affinity for design inspired her to create a company dedicated to incorporating “nature-based design” in all its projects with the goals of creating a bio-zen space that connects people with nature, encouraging biodiversity and sustainability.

Her diverse cultural experiences enables her to provide distinctive design through living art, vertical gardens, and preserved walls that are truly magical. She views every blank wall as an open canvas for creating unique innovative designs by using nature that are specifically tailored to her clients’ spaces.

If you’d like to contribute to the blog, please contact the Bloganeer, Karen Trapane,, to ask a question, submit content or give suggestions for upcoming topics. And remember, the more you know, the more you grow. 🙂