ABC-CLIO

A Guide for Dual-Career Couples

Rewriting the Rules

by Eve Sprunt, PhD

 

In today's dual-career relationships, both individuals are likely to earn similar incomes. What are the key strategies for surviving and thriving as a dual-career couple?

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Cover image for A Guide for Dual-Career Couples

May 2016

Praeger

Pages 216
Volumes 1
Size 6 1/8x9 1/4
Topics Business/Careers
  Business/General

This book discusses the major challenges facing dual-career couples—a substantial proportion of modern society—and suggests ways for both individuals to achieve career success by re-evaluating traditional styles of working and focusing on productivity, flexibility, and negotiating win-win solutions.

Women are becoming increasingly influential in the workforce; the era of men being the primary or only income-earner in a partnership is all but gone. Today, people tend to meet their spouse or domestic partner at school or at work. High achievers tend to pair with other high achievers, often in similar fields. This leads to couples in which both individuals are strongly motivated to have successful careers. What happens when they become parents or when one—or both—individuals need to consider relocating for their job?

Many mid-career, college-educated people, especially women as well as undergraduate and graduate students, are concerned about developing a plan to mesh their career with a partner and are seeking guidance. This book offers a gender-neutral guide for 21st-century couples that will benefit men as much as women. The author provides career-management guidance for people in dual-career relationships in which both parties are ambitiously attempting to pursue equally important, high-powered careers, presenting examples of alternative solutions and arguing that many "women's issues"—including parenting and limited geographic mobility—are more appropriately managed in a gender-neutral way as dual-career couple issues.

Readers will understand how to make better decisions regarding difficult situations, such as whether to accept an opportunity that adversely impacts their personal lives, choosing to take a leave of absence or to quit, investing a large amount of one person's salary for domestic assistance and childcare, taking paternity leave, and leveraging flexible work arrangements—for example, telecommuting.

Features

  • Identifies and explains the simple principles that enable readers to understand the power in relationships—with their mate and with their employer—and grasp the true sources of their motivation
  • Supplies insights based on surveys of more than 10,000 professionals and more than three decades of business-world experience
  • Addresses "dual-career" issues in the context of being a form of invisible diversity—a reality that impacts both men and women but tends to disproportionately negatively impact women, who are also struggling with unconscious gender bias
  • Reveals how dissatisfaction with work-life balance is often caused by lack of career opportunities
Author Info

Eve Sprunt, PhD, is a consultant with more than 35 years of experience as an executive and research scientist in the petroleum industry, including leading Chevron's worldwide university recruiting. In 2013, she was honored with the highest award given by the Society of Women Engineers (SWE). The SWE Achievement Award is "bestowed for an outstanding contribution over a significant period of time in a field of engineering." Sprunt was recognized for "game-changing contributions to the petroleum industry, to the science and practice of geosciences and petroleum engineering, and to the advancement of women engineers." She served as the 2006 President of the Society of Petroleum Engineers and has received that society's highest award, "Honorary Membership." She holds 23 patents, has authored 28 scholarly papers, and has written more than 140 other articles. Sprunt holds bachelor of science and master of science degrees from Massachusetts Institute of Technology and was the first woman to receive a doctoral degree from Stanford University in geophysics.

Reviews/Endorsements

Reviews

"Taking a thoughtful look at her own career and child-raising experiences, plus careful analysis of data collected through several comprehensive surveys (conducted through the Society of Petroleum Engineers), Dr. Sprunt recasts many of the issues identified as 'women's issues' as the concerns of dual-career couples. . . . [This book] offers wise conclusions and perspectives."Society of Women Engineers

Endorsements

"The revolution wrought by working women has altered forever how couples make choices and share their future. Yet resources for navigating this complex terrain have been few. Eve Sprunt's excellent, clear, well-organized book provides dual-career couples with an essential guide while showing organizations how to benefit from a trend that's here to stay."—Sally Helgesen, Author, The Female Vision, The Female Advantage, and The Web of Inclusion

"As a female trailblazer in the petroleum industry and a scientist who is expert in analyzing data, Dr. Sprunt knew just the right questions to ask and brilliantly analyzed thousands of responses she received from dual-career couples. This very accessible book is a 'must read' not only for career women and their spouses, but also for employers and anyone genuinely concerned about gender equity."—Rosalind S. Simson, Associate Professor of Philosophy, Women's and Gender Studies Affiliated Faculty, Mercer University

"Finally, here is a book targeting the key career management issue for women and millennials. No, it's not child care, it's pursuing both mostly equal careers. Executives should pay attention to manage and retain post-baby boom talent."—Janeen Judah, 2017 President, Society of Petroleum Engineers

"Every couple trying to define personal success in today's 24/7 workplace will find valuable takeaways to help juggle their roles as professionals, partners, and parents."—Janet Bandows Koster, Executive Director and CEO, Association for Women in Science

"The challenge of work and life integration . . . requires a partnership of men, women and employers. Dr. Sprunt's research and years of real-world experience provide practical solutions through an industry focused lens. Extremely useful for anyone juggling work and family."—Karen Horting, Executive Director & CEO, Society of Women Engineers (SWE)

"Eve addresses . . . the hurdles, barriers, and socio-psychological difficulties faced by dual careers couples . . . in a highly pragmatic manner, providing potential solutions for both couples and employers on how to address such issues."—Ella Minty, Founding Chartered Public Relations Practitioner, The Chartered Institute of Public Relations, United Kingdom

"Sprunt has lived the cultural-revolution that has led to an ever increasing number of dual-career couples facing the challenges of finding a work-life balance. With clear, concise language backed by data, Ms. Sprunt draws on a wealth of experience to provide compelling arguments and sound advice. Dual-career couples just entering professional life, as well as well seasoned managers, will gain valuable insight from this book."—John H. Bradford, President, Society of Exploration Geophysicists and Professor, Boise State University

"Eve Sprunt offers valuable, original insights in this must-read book, which provides abundant information, practical findings, and important recommendations on how to successfully cope with the challenges facing dual-career couples."—Giovanni Paccaloni, President Paccaloni Consulting International, Italy

"This work has great value for working couples who are engaged in dual careers. The data analysis and experiential knowledge provide useful guidance in setting objectives and making choices."—William L. Abriel, Owner, Orinda Geophysical

"Simple to read and full of smart and practical advice that empowers dual-career couples to surmount challenges and have rewarding and successful careers."—Maria A. Capello, Senior Advisor in Kuwait Oil Company, Kuwait

"This ground breaking book addresses an important problem that is increasingly affecting men and women around the world who have globetrotting careers. The author touches on issues both from a personal and a professional standpoint with great attention, sensibility, and an outstanding understanding of both business and human needs."—Loris Tealdi, Society of Petroleum Engineers, Italy

"A must read . . . as a dual career working woman I found the list of questions for couples inspiring."—Dr. Tammy Wong, CEO, Fostering Executive Leadership, Inc., Author of The Hour Glass Effect: Leveraging Female Talent for your Competitive Advantage

"Give this book to your daughter . . . it's a roadmap for how to have both a career and a life."—Harbo Jensen, Loving Father, Chevron Vice President and MIT Trustee

"A must read for anyone looking to navigate the career and life lattice. Provides great insight on how to make dual careers work both at the office and at home."—Katie Mehnert, CEO and Founder Pink Petro

Look Inside

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