We analyse how women’s participation in the labour market is influenced by their partner’s resources in Mexico. Theory predicts opposing partner effects: specialization and bargaining theory predicts a negative association between partners’ resources and women’s work status, whereas social capital and gender equality approaches suggest a positive effect. In order to test these hypotheses, we structure our study around three main research questions. Is women’s employment positively related to their partners’ earnings? Does men’s education influence women’s work status within couples? Did the role of partner characteristics change over time? To answer these questions, we use data from the National Survey of Occupation and Employment of Mexico collected in 2005 and 2017. Our results show that women are more likely to be employed if they have a low-earning partner , whereas men’s education is positively associated with women’s employment. These associations become stronger over time, suggesting an increasing importance of partner characteristics for women’s employment status.