De mannen achter succesvolle vrouwen: ‘kanjers’ of ‘maatjes’? | Amsterdam University Press Journals Online
Volume 85, Issue 4
  • ISSN: 0025-9454
  • E-ISSN: 1876-2816


The men behind successful women: ‘Big shots’ or ‘sharing companions’? .

Using data from the Netherlands Kinship Panel Study, this paper compares the partners of successful women with those of women who have fared less well on the labor market. Success is measured as belonging to the top ten percent income bracket of the female sample. The male breadwinner model where husbands contribute most to the household income characterizes the majority of couples, particularly in the older age groups. Successful women tend to have ‘sharing companions’ who make less money than they do rather than ‘big shots’ who have high incomes. Whether their partners espouse gender egalitarian attitudes makes no differences for women’s success. Rather, having a partner who performs a fair share of domestic tasks relates to women’s socio-economic achievement. Mothers with resident children are more successful when their partners have short work weeks, but the success of childless women and empty nest mothers shows no association with their partners’ work hours. With women’s increasing socio-economic independence, partner relations will likely become premised on different logics compared with the past. For economically autonomous women, men’s disposition towards companionship will be an important consideration, whereas men faced with economically autonomous women will be required to substantively contribute to domestic work.


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  • Article Type: Research Article
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