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You Go, Girl (With a Lot of Support)

SEE JANE WIN The Rimm Report on How 1,000 Girls Became Successful Women; Sylvia Rimm, with Sara Rimm-Kaufman and Ilonna Rimm; Crown; $25; 360 pages

May 24, 1999|SHARI ROAN

It's probably commonplace now for parents to tell their little girls that they can grow up to be anything they want, anything boys can be. But how true is that assurance?

Some research suggests that girls still receive negative messages about reaching their potential in school and in the workplace. Parents, however, can learn how to counter the negative forces and give their girls a platform to succeed, according to "See Jane Win," a new book by Sylvia Rimm, a correspondent for NBC's "Today" show.

Joined by her two daughters, both accomplished women, Rimm conducted a survey of 1,236 women nationwide considered to have successful and satisfying professional careers. She also conducted in-depth interviews with several high-achieving women whose stories are quite compelling. The book is a fascinating look at why people become who they are.

Rimm gets right to the point, giving parents 20 guidelines for raising daughters to succeed professionally. She describes the importance of parents' roles and explains how possible obstacles to success can be circumnavigated.

Overall, Rimm's report certainly shows that parents can't help their daughters succeed by sitting by idly. Parents need to set high expectations and remain active and influential in their girls' lives.

Rimm even counsels parents to advise their daughters to pick marriage partners who will consider them equals and will do an equal share of domestic and child-rearing work.

To be sure, some girls find their way to the top without much intervention. But most need strong and loving parents supporting them as they go.

Parents will take away many practical tips and good advice on how to encourage their daughters to aim high.

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