A systematic reflection upon dual career couples
Particularly among the highly educated, a persistent upward trend in female employment rates has characterized western industrialized countries in the last decades. Yet, strong gender inequalities persist in the career chances of equally highly qualified men and women. Women are still underrepresented in executive/ leading positions in both the private and public sector of the economy. We argue that such gender inequalities are also due to the fact that the majority of highly educated women lives with an equally highly educated partner. For these women the realization of dual careers becomes ever more important and represents an essential prerequisite for their own professional development. Following Phyllis Moen's 'linked lives' idea, we will argue that the achievement or failure of dual-career arrangements is a 'social-relational process' (Moen 2003a: 10) and that partners' lives are embedded with and influenced by each other. In particular, we will discuss how this entwining occurs, which processes at different levels play a role, and how these different processes interact with each other. Finally, we will give some suggestions on the direction for future research.
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