An engrossing analysis of the reasons women are still a fractional minority of the high-priced executive class, and a close look at 25 who've succeeded in the corporate world despite the odds against them. Hennig and Jardim, Harvard Business School graduates and former faculty members, suggest that businesses are bastions of a male lifestyle that women find alien; management positions are intended for those who expect that teamwork and a game plan will ensure upward mobility while women traditionally seek individual self-improvement and approach risk differently. Such attitudes are, of course, the outcome of different socialization processes, and although the authors use a controversial view of the Oedipal theory to substantiate their claims, conventional behaviors and goals have varied significantly according to sex. The authors' scrutiny of 25 women who began working in the Thirties (23 as secretaries) and progressed to upper-echelon positions of real responsibility reveals remarkably similar patterns from early in life (when they enjoyed favored status with encouraging fathers) to ""career maturity"" after they had successfully resolved sexual identity problems. Wary of government quotas and automatic promotions, Hennig and Jardim conclude that women can make it in the business world once they examine the strength of their commitment and learn how to compete with men. Although particular contentions are off-base here (""it is a rare little girl. . . who notices the inconsistencies inherent in traditional role definitions""), their authoritative pronouncements are likely to travel loud and clear down those corridors to the board room.