The Importance of Dual Career

What is the Primary Reason Faculty Candidates Turn Down Positions at U.Va.?

 Lack of job opportunities for spouses and partners. [Fraser, Harden & Rine 2012]

Why should we care?

  • Because we are losing highly qualified candidates to our peers. According to a report on dual career hiring issued by Stanford University’s Clayman Center, 88% of nationally surveyed faculty who negotiated a dual hire reported they would have turned down the position if their partner had not also found appropriate employment. In other words, “couples more and more vote with their feet, leaving or not considering universities that do not support them”(Schiebinger, Henderson and Gilmartin 2008a).

  • Because women are inordinately affected, especially women in STEM disciplines. The Clayman report indicates that women are more likely than men to weigh their partner’s employment status and opportunities as important factors in their decision-making process. And in STEM fields, 59% of academic women were married to another scientist. [Schiebinger, Henderson and Gilmartin 2008a]

[Read: The Clayman Report for more information]


Partner accommodation may be particularly important in attracting more women to underrepresented fields.

- Ann Higginbotham, American Association of University Professors


Reasons for Refusing Outside Offer among Academic Couples at U.Va. by Gender

(Schiebinger, Henderson and Gilmartin 2008b, figure 20)