Reasons Why a Promotion Increases the Risk of Divorce in Women

career woman with colleagues

Is a promotion always a good thing? While it’s a surefire sign you’re on the upward path in your career, ask any divorce attorney in Oklahoma City or across the country, and they’ll tell you about more than a few instances where a promotion led to an eventual divorce. How might that be the case, you wonder? Read on, and learn about why women who get promoted are also more likely to get divorced.

Does Career Advancement Mean Divorce?

First things first, it’s important to acknowledge how researchers were able to identify a link between promotions for women and divorce. This conclusion is one of professor Johanna Rickne of Stockholm University, who published her findings in the American Economic Journal in January of this year.

In her paper, Professor Rickne examined the lives of both heterosexual men and women who worked at mid-sized and large private employers. What she found, something that a Riverside divorce lawyer has seen over the years, was that women who were promoted to the position of CEO were twice as likely to be divorced within three years than their male counterparts, and that this trend was similar for women who were promoted in public service, the medical field, and even religious occupations.

Now, while the professor’s work was isolated to Sweden, and it didn’t measure which party initiated the divorce, the fact that women who climb their way up the career ladder may have increased chances of cutting their marriages short begs for us to answer why that is the case.

The first thing that comes to mind is that men aren’t being as supportive as they should be to sustain the marriage. It’s certainly plausible that, due to concern of societal norms, men who are married to women who prioritize career advancement become disinterested in sustaining the relationship. That isn’t known to be the case in all instances, however, and it’s also possible that women who advance in their careers abandon their marriages in favor of pursuing other goals.

Wrapping Up

Whatever the case, Rickne’s research indicates that children aren’t to blame for the increased divorce rate among promoted women. Most of the participants in her study had children who had already left the home by the time the divorce occurred. Therefore, some other stressor is responsible for the increased rates of separation.

Thankfully, though, there may be ways to mitigate this growing concern. Women who prioritize career advancement should choose partners who do the same. According to Rickne’s research, when high-income/status women marry men in a similar position, they are more likely to have a marriage that can withstand the type of stress that a less egalitarian marriage would not.

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