Couples That Work

February 1, 2018 Harvard Business Review Staff

From the Women at Work podcast:

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Simmering resentments over whose career comes first. Bickering over household tasks. Arguments over who should pick up the kids this time.

This is the portrait of two-career coupledom in much of the popular media. But for a lot of couples, the reality is much rosier. Mutually supportive relationships let us take career risks, help us be more resilient to setbacks, and even “lean in” at work. Yes, it’s true that these relationships can be difficult to find and confusing to nurture. Two-career couples may be the modern norm, but they’re a relatively new norm—a norm still under construction, if you will. In this episode, we talk with three experts to help us paint a picture of what a truly supportive dual-career relationship looks like, and understand how to get our own relationships closer to that ideal.

Jennifer Petriglieri is an assistant professor of organizational behavior at INSEAD. Her research on dual-career couples, co-authored with Otilia Obodaru, is forthcoming in Administrative Science Quarterly.

Avivah Wittenberg Cox is CEO of 20-first, a consulting firm that works with global organizations to achieve gender-balanced leadership teams. Her most recent book is Late Love: Mating in Maturity.

Stephanie Coontz is the author of the bestseller, Marriage: A History. She teaches history and family studies at The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington.


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