WOMEN MAKING IT: Patterns and Profiles of Success by Ruth Halcomb

WOMEN MAKING IT: Patterns and Profiles of Success

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The successful-woman syndrome is familiar territory by now, and this latest entry offers few surprises. All the standard topics are here: women as newly-discovered achievers; making it in a man's world (taken, as usual, from Hennig and Jardim's Managerial Woman); networks and mentors; problems of mixing career and family. Ruth Halcomb (Money and the Working Ms., Women's Bodies, Women's Lives) admits that a crisis in her personal life led her to write this book, and she explores the intriguing question of whether women need a crisis to spur them into action (sometimes). She also notes that top achievers say, even today, that they want husbands who have achieved even more--implying their need to play a secondary role at home. Halcomb is at her strongest in her profiles of six women who describe the particular difficulties of their professions: EEOC head Eleanor Holmes Norton; Marcia Carsey of ABC; U.S.C. professor Judith Stiehn; U.C.L.A. psychiatrist Barbara Fish; entrepreneur Lisa Clewer; and writer Carolyn See. But Halcomb is maddeningly chauvinistic, maintaining that women care more about their personal lives than men do, that most of her interviewees were ""deeply committed to helping people and to making human lives better"" (suggesting that men lack such goals), and that while a woman could ""possibly"" have created Watergate, it is doubtful that one could have caused the deaths in Guyana. Finally, Halcomb concludes that ""a positive outlook"" is the key to success. Hasn't the novelty of successful women worn off yet?

Pub Date: Oct. 29th, 1979
Publisher: Atheneum