Women in leadership positions divorce more than men

Women in leadership positions are more likely to get a divorce than those in the general population, a major study has revealed.

According to the research, published by the Stockholm University in Sweden, women who become CEOs are also more likely to divorce quicker than men who become CEOs.

The paper, entitled All the Single Ladies: Job Promotions and the Durability of Marriage, compared the relationship trajectories of winning and losing candidates for mayor and parliamentarian roles, and the divorce rates in men and women after being promoted to CEO.

According to the report, a promotion to one of these jobs “doubles the baseline probability” of divorce for women, but not for men, while divorces are concentrated in more “gender-traditional” couples, than gender-equal couples.

In numbers, married women were twice as likely to be divorced in the three years after promotion compared to men, while just 75 per cent of women in public office positions were still married after eight years of being in the job, compared to 85 per cent of men.

Similar trends were also observed in other high-ranking positions, such as police officers, priests and doctors.

Commenting on the paper, lead author Johanna Rickne claims the findings dispel “the expectation that you shouldn’t need to choose between family and career” when it comes to women climbing the job ladder.

Women are more likely to experience higher levels of “stress and friction” when there are changes in the “division of their economic and social roles”, she added.

However, the study suggests that divorce is not always necessarily a negative thing. “If women get into unequal relationships with a spouse that will not support their career, divorce lets them continue their careers alone and possibly look for a new partner… It’s not necessarily ideal to stay with the same person your whole life,” concluded Ms Rickne.

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