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Spots for Both

Dual-career programs are particularly important in recruiting female academics, Inside Higher Ed reports. Such programs aim to lure a one member of an academic couple by also offering the other member a position.

According to Inside Higher Ed's Scott Jaschik, a study presented at the American Sociological Association meeting indicates that these programs are key for recruiting female professors whose husbands also work in academia.

Washington State University's Julie Kmec and Hong Zhang surveyed faculty couples at seven universities to find that women in this situation are more likely to turn down a position if their husbands aren't also offered an appropriate job than men whose wives aren't offered an appropriate position. Jaschik notes that the study only examined opposite-sex couples.

The couples were also asked whether they considered their career to be primary, secondary, or equal to their spouse's. Jaschik reports that even women who said their career was the primary one were more likely to turn down an academic job if their spouse wasn't also offered a good spot.

This, Kmec says, indicates there is "a problem of gender overriding" career opportunities.