Factors Impacting Dual Career Couples, Results of December 2011 TalentCouncil Survey
- Eve Sprunt (Chevron) | Susan Howes (Chevron)
- Document ID
- Society of Petroleum Engineers
- Publication Date
- Document Type
- 2012. Society of Petroleum Engineers
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This paper reports the results of a survey of the Young Professional SPEmembership performed for SPE's Talent Council during December 2011. It isscheduled for publication in The Way Ahead in 2012. It has been includedin OnePetro for accessibility.
The survey conducted In May 2011 [1, 2] of SPE's entire membership by theSPE Talent Council showed that dual career couples comprise about half of thepetroleum engineering workforce. In many of those couples, eachpartner contributes between 40 and 60% of the household income. Situations that jeopardize the employment of one partner are a major financialconsideration. Two significant challenges for dual career couples arerelocation and childrearing.
In December 2011 to better understand the challenges facing dual careercouples, the SPE Talent Council surveyed SPE members under the age of 45. The survey had a 5% response rate, which was down from the 12% response rate tothe prior survey. This could have been due to distribution near year endwhen many people are on vacation or survey fatigue. Responses werereceived from 1392 people of whom 31% are female. The age distribution ofthose responding is shown in Figure 1. Of those responding, 76% are partof a dual career couple. All but 10% of the women responding considerthemselves to be part of a dual career couple and 62% of them aremarried. In contrast, 30% of the men do not consider themselves part of adual career couple and only 52% are married. Of the dual career couplewomen in this survey, 53% contribute between 40 and 60% of the householdincome, whereas only 35% of the men are part of a relationship in which eachpartner contributes between 40 and 60% of the household income.
Not only are a higher percentage of women than men part of a dual careercouple, but they take on that role earlier in life, with 43% in such arelationship before they are 25, and 83% in a dual career relationship by theage of 30. In contrast by age 25, only 25% of men consider themselves tobe part of a dual career couple, with the percentage increasing to 74% by age30. Women tend to be younger than their partner with 12% more than10 years younger. In contrast, only 5% of men are 10 years younger thantheir partner. Overall, 70% of the women are younger than their partner,but only 37% of the men are younger than their partner.
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