In the past few decades the number of women entering graduate and professional schools has been going up and up, while the number of women reaching the top rung of the corporate and academic worlds has remained relatively stagnant. Why are so many women falling off the fast track? In this timely book, Mary Ann Mason traces the career paths of the first generation of ambitious women who started careers in academia, law, medicine, business, and the media in large numbers in the 1970s and '80s. Along with her daughter, Mason has written a guide for young women who are facing the tough decision of when--and if--to start a family. It is also a guide for older women seeking a second chance to break through to the next level, as Mason herself did in academia. The book features anecdotes and strategies from the dozens of women they interviewed. Advice ranges from the personal (know when to say "no," the importance of time management) to the institutional, with suggestions for how the workplace itself can be changed to make it easier for ambitious working mothers to reach the top levels. The result is a roadmap of new choices for women facing the sobering question of how to balance a successful career with family.

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