What Relationship Experts and Business Leaders Have to Say

Ron Williams

Former CEO, Aetna, Inc., and chairman of Agilon Health

“Doubling Down provides advice for dual career couples to manage the challenges of two careers. This should be essential reading for couples who need to confront the give-and-take of this increasingly common situation. The lived experiences of Ilene and Bram can be a guide to this generation of dual-career couples to navigate these challenging waters.” 

Shelly Lazarus

Chairman Emeritus, Ogilvy

“If only I’d had Doubling Down 40 years ago! There is so much wisdom contained within…and all based on real-life experience. Any couple who has attempted dual careers while raising a family will relate to the stories, perspectives, and lessons worth gold. There were so many places in this book where I just smiled (been there, done that), although not as deftly or as gracefully as Ilene and Bram. Reading this book is like sitting down with friends, sharing life stories over a bottle of wine. Enjoy!” 

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. As a wife, a mother of two, and a business leader who has spent nearly four decades balancing the needs of my family with the demands of my career, I found the advice in this book to be highly relevant and practical for professionals at all stages of their life and career journey.”

John Gottman, Ph.D.,

Co-founder of The Gottman Institute and author of The New York Times best-seller The 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. It’s a great story, with very helpful lessons for everyone.”

Gregory Kenny,

Chairman of the Board of Cardinal Health and Ingredion and past president and CEO of General Cable Corporation

“I shared Doubling Down with my daughters and their husbands. Ilene and Bram truly live the principles they write about and demonstrate that, with discipline, a couple can thrive at leading a complex global company and a demanding consultancy, enjoy a loving relationship, and even raise children—yet, still find time to smile often.”

Dianne Grande, Ph.D,

Clinical Psychologist, author of the “In It Together” blog for Psychology Today
“The authors provide insightful and practical advice about becoming and thriving as a dual-career couple with children. Their affection for each other is very apparent and their career success is inspiring. It is all presented as a story, with helpful lessons summed up in each chapter.”

David Hanfland,

Managing Partner and Head of the Americas, Kearney
“Wonderful life lessons from two amazing people who accomplished their dreams both professionally and as a family. Doubling Down provides real guidance on how to tackle some of life’s biggest professional and personal challenges, and how successful spouses can support each other in all they do.”

James H. Lowry,

Senior Advisor, The Boston Consulting Group, Founder of James H. Lowry & Associates and author of Change Agent: 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. They have always shown each other the highest respect and genuine pride in each other’s accomplishments. This book reveals the secret sauce that all dual-career families can adopt to improve their own success. As a mentor to many young professionals, I am recommending they read Doubling Down. It is the third leg of the stool in a sustainable work-life balance world.”

Tom Plath,

Senior Vice President of Human Resources, International Paper
“In addition to providing real-life examples and insights into what successful dual-career couples can do to make the conflicting pieces of their lives work, this book is a wake-up call to organizations about the advantages of supporting women and men staffers who live with the sort of holistic commitment that Ilene and Bram show so consistently. Doubling Down is a great 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.”

Laura Sue D’Annunzio,

Chief People Officer, Highmetric
“Doubling Down is part autobiography and part practical career and life advice for dual-career couples. Bram (my career coach for the past 30 years) and Ilene (an added benefit of working with Bram) have so much wisdom and guidance for dual-career couples (with and without children), which they share in this book. As a Chief People Officer, I look forward to sharing it with my organization and starting a dual-career couple resource group to help others.”

Michal Clements,

Founder and CEO of Insight to Action and 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 insightfully articulates the creativity that successful dual-career couples need in order to bring out the best in each other. Written candidly and with humor, this guidebook to a good marriage empowers couples with children to implement creative solutions when faced with unforeseen circumstances. Even if you don’t create the same rules in your household, the creativity Bram and Ilene brought to their marriage, it will inspire you to codify your own principles and game plan.”

Bonnie and Jamie Schaefer,

Bonnie is the former CEO and Co-chair of the board of Claire’s Stores and her wife Jamie is Co-owner of Westglow Resort & Spa

“Doubling Down contains great advice. Ilene and Bram are experienced professionals sharing a lot of knowledge about the challenges of having two careers and nourishing good family relationships. We also have faced these challenges and know that readers will be very successful if they implement many of these ideas! We have loved observing this family growing stronger every day.”