Abstract Hydrostatic stress can affect the non-elastic deformation and flow stress of polymeric materials and certain metallic alloys. This sensitivity to hydrostatic stress can also influence the fracture toughness of ductile materials, which fail by void growth and coalescence. These materials typically contain a non-uniform distribution of voids of varying size-scales and void shapes. In this work, the effects of void shape and microvoid interaction in pressure-sensitive materials are examined via a two-prong approach: (i) an axisymmetric unit-cell containing a single ellipsoidal void and (ii) a plane-strain unit-cell consisting of a single large void and a population of discrete microvoids. The representative material volume in both cases is subjected to physical stress states similar to highly stressed regions ahead of a crack. Results show that oblate voids and microvoid cavitation can severely reduce the critical stress of the material. These effects can be compounded under high levels of pressure-sensitivity. In some cases, the critical stress responsible for rapid void growth is reduced to levels comparable to the yield strength of the material. The contribution of void shape and pressure-sensitivity to the thermal- and moisture-induced voiding phenomenon in IC packages is also discussed.