1992 versus 2012
There are signs that the next generation of women CEOs and dual-career couples will have a more egalitarian dynamic in the home. Wharton's Friedman heads a longitudinal research project that surveys the school's students and alumni on their beliefs and attitudes about two-career relationships.
In 1992, he surveyed more than 450 Wharton undergraduate students as they graduated. This past May, he posed the same set of questions to Wharton undergraduates in the Class of 2012. The survey asked questions such as: "To what extent do you agree that two-career relationships work best when one partner is more advanced than the other?" and "Two-career relationships work best when one partner is less involved in his/her career" [agree or disagree].
In 1992, men were much more likely to agree with such statements than women, according to Friedman. But in 2012, there has been a convergence of attitudes about two-career relationships: Men are now less likely to agree, but women are more likely to agree. "Young men graduating today are more egalitarian in their views and women are, well, more realistic," he says. "The important point is that men and women today are more likely than the previous generation to share the same values about what it takes to make dual-career relationships work."