Cover image for See Jane win : the Rimm report on how 1,000 girls became successful women
See Jane win : the Rimm report on how 1,000 girls became successful women
Rimm, Sylvia B., 1935-
Personal Author:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Crown, [1999]

Physical Description:
361 pages : illustrations ; 24 cm
Format :


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Material Type
Home Location
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HQ799.15 .R56 1999 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks

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Noted child psychologist Sylvia Rimm, along with her daughters, a research psychologist and a pediatric oncology researcher, conducted an extensive three-year survey among more than one thousand satisfied women who have achieved success in their careers. She explored in depth these women's childhoods, adolescences, and young adulthoods, noting what the women had in common and culling from her findings important advice on how parents can give their own daughters the same advantages. Based on extensive original research, See Jane Win provides invaluable advice for helping girls deal with such issues as middle-school grade decline, math anxieties, eating disorders, social and academic insecurities, feelings of being different, self-esteem and competition, the career-family balance, and the glass ceiling. Included are profiles of seventeen women in disparate careers that illuminate the rewards and penalties of linear versus delayed career patterns and show us the typical pathways for women in specific fields, including medicine, science, law, business, education, politics, and the arts. Despite the many victories of the women's movement, little girls are still given negative messages about their potential and prospects. Dr. Rimm shows parents how to combat those messages and give their daughters the confidence and skills they need to follow in the footsteps of the successful women surveyed.

Author Notes

Dr. Sylvia Rimm is the author of Why Kids Get Poor Grades; How to Parent So Children Will Learn; and Raising Preschoolers. A clinical professor at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, she is also the director of the Family Achievement Clinic at MetroHealth Medical Center in Cleveland and a contributing correspondent for the Today show.
Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufman is a research psychologist at the University of Virginia who lives in Charlottesville.
Dr. Ilonna Rimm is a pediatric oncology researcher who lives in Boston.

Reviews 1

Publisher's Weekly Review

To help parents raise daughters who become happy and successful women, Rimm, a child psychologist and author (Dr. Sylvia Rimm's Smart Parenting, etc.), went directly to the source: women who define themselves as successful, both personally and professionally. She and her two coauthor daughters surveyed more than 1000 women to determine the factors that made the difference. Businesswomen, doctors and nurses, scientists, artists, teachers and homemakers participated in the three-year study. Presented in chapters on school issues, peer and family relationships, recreational activities and other formative experiences, some of the findings support the common wisdom: for example, many successful women began talking and reading early. Others challenge accepted ideas, such as that all-female schools succeed better at fostering an interest in science, and that women who perceive themselves as "good girls" don't achieve as much. Each chapter also includes somewhat dry case studies and useful prescriptions for applying the book's insights to today's girls. Although the portrayals of those in medicine and the sciences tend to be a little more flattering than those of women in other fields (perhaps because all three authors are doctors), this study nonetheless offers parents, teachers, researchers and women a valuable framework for linking childhood experiences to achievement. 8-city author tour. (June) (c) Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved



Research Finding #1 Both the American dream and the feminist dream are alive and well for the successful women who participated in our study. They have outperformed both their mothers and fathers in their educational attainments. Although less than a third of their mothers and less than half of their fathers completed college, almost all of the women had at least college degrees. A third had master's degrees, and another third had doctorates in the arts and sciences or a professional degree in medicine or law. The women in our study were not only successful but happy in their families and social relationships. Guideline #1----Set high educational expectations for your daughters. Expect them to complete college and beyond, whether or not you did. Discuss careers with them, and expect them to have careers. Teach them that educational attainment is of the highest priority. Research Finding #2 About 70 percent of the women believed that both their parents had high expectations for them. More than a third of the women indicated they felt pressure from parents, teachers, peers, and themselves, although for the most part they liked the pressure or at least didn't seem to mind it. Guideline #2----Don't be too quick to back off if your daughters have to cope with some pressure. It's all part of learning resilience. Expect much from your daughters, and they will expect much of themselves. Coach them for success. Expectations are much more effective if both parents agree (whether or not they're married to each other). If you can't agree, having one parent who sets high expectations is much better than neither doing so. However, too much pressure can cause serious problems. Don't set unrealistically high expectations. If your daughter is experiencing symptoms of pressure, help her to make decisions about how to manage her time better or which activities to eliminate. If she reports too much pressure or begins to show physical symptoms, get professional help. Research Finding #3 Although most of the successful women in the study were highly intelligent according to various measures, many described themselves as above average or even average in intellectual abilities. Most of the women invested considerable time in study and homework while in school. Motivation seemed at least as critical as ability. Guideline #3----Help your daughters to understand that they don't need to be the smartest to feel smart, but assure them that you believe they are intelligent and that "airheads" don't make it but "brains" do. Studying does pay off. Help them to develop good study habits. Even perfectionism, if not too extreme, can lead to production and achievement. Assure your daughters that they won't wear their IQ score on their foreheads, and for the most part, they should not consider their IQ score a limitation as long as they are interested, motivated, and willing to persevere. Research Finding #4 In choosing words to describe themselves as they were growing up, the women of the study chose "smart," "hard worker," and "independent" most often. Those descriptors were also chosen most by the women to describe their perceptions of how others saw them. "Happy," "mature," "adultlike," "creative," and "good little girl" were also mentioned frequently. There were various descriptors used by women in some careers, but "smart" and "hardworking" were constants for all careers. Guideline #4----View your daughters as intelligent, good thinkers, and problem solvers. Value work. Be positive about your own work. Have family work projects. A work ethic and a love of accomplishment underlie motivation. Doing chores around the house, baby-sitting, running small businesses (such as lemonade stands), tutoring or teaching others, and working on creative projects will all build a sense of personal competence. Research Finding #5 Many successful women described themselves as "sensitive," "kind," "shy," "emotional," "perfectionistic," and "self-critical." Very few used terms such as "troublemaker," "manipulative," "problem child," "rebellious," or even "fashion leader." Guideline #5----Characteristics that are gender-stereotyped as female characteristics don't necessarily interfere with success. Assertiveness can be learned. On the other hand, if your daughter is having behavior or learning problems in school, take it seriously. Get the kind of professional assistance that will help her view herself as hardworking, smart, and independent. Research Finding #6 Most of the successful women in our study, 79 percent, were educated in public schools; 16 percent attended parochial schools, and 5 percent went to independent schools. Comparable figures for the general population are 89 percent in public schools, 9 percent in parochial schools, and 2 percent in independent schools. Approximately twice as many of our successful women attended parochial and independent schools as do children in the overall population.          Attendance at same-gender schools and colleges was viewed favorably and positively by the women who attended those schools. Ten percent of the women attended all-female high schools. Thirteen percent attended women's colleges. Approximately 20 percent of the successful women admitted that boys and social life adversely affected their seriousness about school and learning during their middle- and high-school years. Specific teachers were frequently mentioned by these women as inspiring regardless of whether they attended public or private schools. Guideline #6----Your daughters can be successful at public schools; however, there may be some advantages to parochial, independent, and all-girls schools. Consider the quality of the particular school, and carefully review your own economic priorities as well as your daughters' interests and needs when planning for your daughters' educational opportunities. The middle-school and high-school years may be a more important time than the elementary years to choose a special school if finances are limited. On the other hand, it may not be worth a financial sacrifice if your daughters are doing well at good public schools. Search for schools with dedicated and inspiring teachers. They may make a great difference for your daughters. Excerpted from See Jane Win: The Rimm Report on How 1000 Girls Became Successful Women by Sylvia Rimm All rights reserved by the original copyright owners. Excerpts are provided for display purposes only and may not be reproduced, reprinted or distributed without the written permission of the publisher.

Table of Contents

Dr. Janice DouglasSuzanne DanielsMargaret KarnesDr. Ana CasaSusan WidhamNancy CollierDr. Diane ButlerAngela SandsLouise AndrewsHelen Gurley BrownCatherine Burns, Ph.D.Rabbi Miriam KaneDonna DravesDiana DoyleDr. Alyssa GainesSandra SheetsDr. Anne Caroles
Introductionp. 1
Chapter 1. One Thousand Successful Women: Twenty Guidelines for Raising Your Daughtersp. 6
Turning Roadblocks and Reversals into Opportunitiesp. 27
A Renewed Identity--Mountains to Climbp. 35
Chapter 2. The American Dream for Your Daughters: Be a Coach, Not a Judgep. 40
She Learned That Women Are Strongp. 59
No One Ever Told Her What She Couldn't Dop. 67
Chapter 3. Good Little Girls Aren't so Badp. 74
How "Good Little Girls" Shatter Glass Ceilingsp. 92
She Broke with Traditionp. 98
Chapter 4. See Jane Learn: That Invaluable Educationp. 103
When a Woman Is an "Uncommon Man"p. 130
Finding a Career That Combines People and Sciencep. 133
Chapter 5. Active Girls, Active Womenp. 138
A Family Surrounded by Musicp. 158
Capturing the "Pulse of Young Women"p. 165
Chapter 6. See Jane Win, and Other Formative Experiencesp. 170
An Independent "Fire-Eater"p. 203
Spiritual Passion Permeated Her Childhoodp. 207
Chapter 7. Sociability, Shyness, and Insecurity: Peer Relationshipsp. 213
Making Her Markp. 235
Chapter 8. Parents do Make a Difference: Family Relationshipsp. 243
Searching for Balance and the Right Pathp. 274
Hardworking and Creative, but Her Family Is Her Centerp. 279
Chapter 9. See Jane go: Young Adult Resiliencep. 285
Resilient and Optimistic, She Just Wouldn't Quitp. 312
Madame Curie Was Her Role Modelp. 316
Chapter 10. See Jane Stop: Glass Ceilings, Sticky Floors, and Circuitous Stairwaysp. 321
Notesp. 345
Acknowledgmentsp. 349
Indexp. 355