. . . discussed here has a staff of at least three or four employees and earns above $4000 yearly. First hand research by the author, interviewing woman executives in five metropolitan areas of the Eastern seaboard, debunks the glamour magazine and public relations view of the chill, chic automaton. It tallies the costs and forfeits of prestige and the large paycheck; analyzes how she got where she is; gives the comments of male colleagues and husbands. Off her pedestal, in the office, prototype ""successes"" analyze their upward climb. For some war brought opportunity and equal rights. For others a protoge relationship to company directors helped. Retirement faces the single and married women. Here they tell of the preparation, the hope for useful community service -- and the fear that ""You Can't Go Home Again"". The author draws on studies by others for a composite view which should interest many on various rungs of the success ladder.