This study analyzed the rates of burnout in zoo and aquarium employees to determine who experiences burnout. Previous research has examined which demographic groups experience harassment and discrimination, but not much research has shown which demographic groups experience burnout. This study looked at who is experiencing burnout at zoos and aquariums and the factors that may lead to higher levels of burnout. Researchers distributed a survey to recruit individuals working or who have previously worked at a zoo or aquarium. Of 616 respondents, 91% reported they experienced burnout while working at a zoo or aquarium, and 60% stated they left a position because of burnout. Survey participants who identified as Black, Indigenous, and/or people of color were significantly more likely than those identified as White to leave their positions because of burnout. Participants who experienced harassment and discrimination in their workplace were significantly more likely to experience burnout and leave their positions because of it. Participants who experienced stress, anxiety, and exhaustion as a result of their work were more likely to experience burnout. On the other hand, people who were often recognized, valued, and supported by their team and leaders were significantly less likely to experience burnout and leave their positions. The results of this survey indicate that clear and transparent communication between staff, leaders, stakeholders, and decision-makers is critical to better understanding employees’ needs and preventing burnout.
Published in April 2023 Issue of Animal Kepers' Forum.
Marino. (2023). Measuring Burnout in Zoo and Aquarium Professionals: A Case for Equity and Justice. Animal Keepers' Forum, 50(4), 103-108.