Academic jobs, Gender

The two-body problem

It’s not particularly surprising that not having a supportive spouse will hurt a woman’s career and, over time, potentially also undermine a marriage. However, it turns out that it’s not only their husbands who presume that a wife’s career will take a backseat to male ambitions. In a recent article, Lauren Rivera finds that academic hiring committees are more likely to actively consider a woman’s relationship status than a man’s. Committees presumed that heterosexual women with successful husbands were “not movable” and therefore excluded them from consideration.

Rivera, Lauren. (2017) “When Two Bodies Are (Not) a Problem: Gender and Relationship Status Discrimination in Academic Hiring” American Sociological Review,

Wittenberg-Cox, Avivah. (2017) “If You Can’t Find a Spouse Who Supports Your Career, Stay Single” Harvard Business Review,


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