An Eye-Opening Memoir and Playbook for

Highly Achieving Working Parents

Dual-career couples double down every day with all-out effort on their careers and their children. How do these families succeed? What works? What doesn’t? This book, Doubling Down: The Secret Sauce for Dual-Career Families, tells you. Endorsed by relationship experts and business leaders – and supported by research – the guidebook offers thought-provoking insights into the home of two senior executives and outlines an actionable game plan for finding and becoming a partner who enjoys the financial and personal fulfillment advantages of a dual-career family.   

A portion of proceeds will support Girls 4 Science.

Meet Bram and Ilene

Who You Marry Impacts Your Career Success

Ilene Gordon is on the Board of Directors at Lockheed Martin, International Paper and International Flavors and Fragrances and served as CEO of multiple international organizations. She was named five times to Fortune’s “50 Most Powerful Women in Business” U.S. list, and twice to Fortune’s international list. Bram Bluestein held senior leadership positions at several of the most respected consulting firms in the world, including Boston Consulting Group, Kearney, and Booz Allen Hamilton. His career building some of the world’s most transformative brands spans six continents.  

What People are Saying

What relationship experts and business leaders have to say
Marillyn Hewson Former Chairman, President and CEO, Lockheed Martin

"DOUBLING DOWN is an indispensable resource for anyone navigating the challenges of maintaining a dual-career household in an increasingly demanding business environment and rapidly evolving society."

John Gottman, Ph.D. Co-founder of The Gottman Institute and author of The New York Times best-seller, Seven Principles For Making Marriage Work

“Buy this book if you’re going to succeed as a dual-career family. Gordon and Bluestein reveal how they managed to keep love and romance alive, be great parents, and still nurture two separate careers.”

Gregory Kenny Chairman of the Board of Cardinal Health

“I shared DOUBLING DOWN with my daughters and their husbands.”

Michal Clements Author of Tuning into Mom: Understanding America’s Most Powerful Consumer

“In my decades studying the insights and perspectives of thousands of mothers, I have not come across a book that so successfully articulates the creativity that successful dual-career couples need in order to bring out the best in each other. Written candidly and with humor, the guidebook to a good marriage offers a deeper level of wisdom.”

Jim Lowry Author of A Life Dedicated To Creating Wealth For Minorities

“Bram and Ilene have been one of the most committed couples: committed to their careers, to their families, and to Chicago. This book reveals the secret sauce that all dual-career families can adopt to improve their own success.”

Tom Plath Senior Vice President of Human Resources, International Paper

“DOUBLING DOWN is a testament to the fact that being great at what you do doesn’t require 80 hours a week, but it does require commitment, emotional intelligence, and presence.”

What's New

News and Events

Enjoying the financial and personal fulfillment advantages of the pursuit of aggressive professionals goals, a close-knit family-life and a romantic relationship with your partner requires a proactive and intentional game plan. We’ll be updating this website with details of our events and announcements in this section.  Be sure to check back for the latest resources on succeeding as a dual-career family. 

Appearance on “A Seat at the Table”

Bram and Ilene were excited to be interview by Deb DeHaas, CEO of the Corporate Leadership Center to discuss our book, “Doubling Down: The Secret Sauce for Dual-Career Families”. Please join us as we discuss our secrets to success as well as our challenges. “Secrets for Success: Tips for Dual-Career Families” is available now on Apple […]

Chicago Finance Exchange Speaking Engagement

Ilene Gordon and Bram Bluestein were proud to appear as keynote speakers at the Chicago Finance Exchange dinner on March 28, 2023. Chicago Finance Exchange (CFE) is the premier network for accomplished women leaders connected to finance in the greater Chicago region. Members represent all Chicagoland industries, including public, private, and non-profit companies/organizations, large and […]

International Women’s Forum Palm Beach, Florida

Please join Ilene Gordon, along with other distinguished panelists at the International Women’s Forum in Palm Beach, Florida where Ilene will speak as a part of their Florida Corporate Board Diversity Initiative: Increasing Women on Corporate Boards. These sessions are a series of broad, introductory panels about corporate board life, responsibilities, and experiences from notable […]

Wharton Club Alumni of Chicago

The Wharton Club of Chicago, in partnership with MIT Sloan Alumni Network, Columbia Business School Alumni Club of Chicago, Berkeley Haas Alumni Network, Chicago Booth Alumni Club, and Penn Club of Chicago, held a a special in-person discussion with Ilene Gordon and Bram Bluestein, co-authors of ‘Doubling Down: The Secret Sauce for Dual-Income Families”. The […]

Get in Touch

Do you have feedback about DOUBLING DOWN: The Secret Sauce for Dual-Career Families or an inquiry about a speaking engagement or interview request? We would love to hear from you(Keep in mind we can’t respond to all messages and ask that you do not send inquiries related to professional networking.)