Dual career couple's relationships

Junior (College 3rd year) ・Business ・APA ・4 Sources

the workplace, have taken place since the middle of the 20th century. In the United States, there were an astonishing 31% more couples with two careers between 1996 and 2006. Nearly 50% of all American couples in 2014 were couples with two careers (Gilbert, 2014). It can be challenging to strike a balance between the demands of work and those of a family. When a couple has a child or children, the challenge is exacerbated. In order to enable dual-career couples and the employing enterprises and organizations themselves achieve a life-work balance, organizations and companies have been compelled to a life-work balance. In so doing, the couple is able to achieve their contribution and commitment to the attainment of the goals and aspirations of all the parties in an efficient and effective manner.

The Issues Associated with Dual-Career Couples and Parent Employees

From an economic point of view, it is a positive thing when dual-career couples increase, because this has a consequence of positively contributing to the tax revenues collected and value creation, which in the end increases the standard of life with respect to the national economy. Dual-career couples achieve significant results at their places of work which in the long run contributes to a higher self-fulfillment. Large corporations have embraced the trend and are either employing the couple or helping the unemployed partner to land a job. Another issue is the limitation of finding two jobs which can both be described by the couple as satisfying and are within a reasonable commuting distance.
The conflict of balance is another issue which cannot be overlooked; the couple will always try its best to do their optimum at work and at the same time give the best to their usually young families. These daily conflicts are experienced by almost all dual-career couples (Wayne, Casper, Matthews & Allen, 2013). The issue is even compounded by the fact that one cannot sacrifice work at the expense of growing a family and the opposite is also true. Ranking one over the other will always be detrimental. Another issue is that of employee relocations. Relocation for one of the spouses would mean that the couple lives apart from one another or that the career of the other partner is disrupted (Wayne et al., 2013). This issue is even becoming more widespread in that businesses, corporations and organizations have to relocate across continents or national borders all thanks to globalization.
Dual career couples are usually pressured as they attempt to meet the demands of their bosses at work and the responsibilities of their families. Such parents carry a guilt feeling with the feeling that they cannot spend sufficient time with their children. A survey carried out by Alcorn in 2011 reported that up to 21% dual career couples confided that they struggled with depression or some stress-related health complication since they became parents (Känsälä, Mäkelä, & Suutari, 2015, p. 2193). Other researches of the same kind have revealed similar results making policy formulators more concerned about the prospect of employing or not employing dual-career spouses. The final issue and which carries a huge weight on itself is the discriminatory nature in the salary, tenure, hiring processes as well as other micro-inequities experienced by women (Dowling, Festing & Engle, 2009). Although this discrimination has over the years been addressed and fought, the fight isn’t over yet in most of the areas. To balance family and career is a hard enough exercise in any case: lack of equal treatment makes it even more difficult for women to excel compared to their counterpart men.

Human Resource Policy Recommendations

Organizations need to acknowledge the importance of supporting dual career spouses to attract and retain a quality workforce. This acknowledgment arises from the recognition that today, over 70% of job seekers and those already employed have what human resource managers refer to as trailing partners, partners who are seeking employment (Dowling, Festing & Engle, 2009). Extension professionals need to agree that dual-career lifestyle isn’t going anywhere but here to stay. It is up to the human resource departments to creatively deal with this phenomenon. The policy guidelines would include advertising and providing information. This comprises creating a dual career assistance program from where information on new job openings should be posted and the partners adequately notified. The hiring departments do not have to ask their employees about their marital statuses or their partners but rather provide information for the willing couples to apply. The working partners will also be at freedom to inquire about application procedures for their trailing partners. Another policy would be swift responses to requests for dual career assistance. Partners of candidates, having received tentative job offers would be assisted as they look for employment opportunities for their partners, within the organization or even outside the organization at an acceptable distance. Finally, before a dual-career couple is hired, the human resource and concerned departments would need to review the whole hiring process to make sure that discrimination of any manner does not occur (Gilbert, 2014). Following these guidelines ensures that the organization does not lose qualified employees even when their partners land new jobs because they are satisfied with their treatment.


Dowling, P., Festing, M. & Engle, A. (2009). International human resource management: managing people in a multinational context. Mason, OH: Thomson/South-Western.
Gilbert, L. A. (2014). Men in dual-career families: Current realities and future prospects. Psychology Press.
Känsälä, M., Mäkelä, L., & Suutari, V. (2015). Career coordination strategies among dual career expatriate couples. The International Journal of Human Resource Management, 26(17), 2187-2210.
Wayne, J. H., Casper, W. J., Matthews, R. A., & Allen, T. D. (2013). Family-supportive organization perceptions and organizational commitment: The mediating role of work–family conflict and enrichment and partner attitudes. Journal of Applied Psychology, 98(4), 606.

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