Summary and book reviews of See Jane Win by Dr Sylvia Rimm

See Jane Win

The Rimm Report on How 1,000 Girls Became Successful Women

By Dr Sylvia Rimm, Drs Sara & Ilonna Rimm

See Jane Win
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  • Hardcover: Nov 1998,
    255 pages.
    Paperback: Apr 2000,
    368 pages.

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Book Summary

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.

"I became a personality and used my brains to compensate for my 'terminal acne.'"
--Helen Gurley Brown, Former Editor in Chief, Cosmopolitan

"My cousin and I were extraordinarily competitive in school. We always prided ourselves on being the best and having the top scores, especially in math. Sometimes he did better; sometimes I did, but it didn't make us dislike each other. It was a very friendly rivalry."
--Dr. Janice Douglas, Medical Researcher

"My high-school years were the most difficult for me. We didn't have a lot of money and I didn't have a lot of self-confidence. I just didn't fit in. My Christian group, Young Life, gave me a part in a group and an opportunity for leadership. I also had a very strong work ethic and worked very hard to earn the money to keep my horses."
--Susan Widham , President, Beech-Nut Nutritional Corporation

"I identified first and foremost with my mother. My mother inspired me to love science. I admired her commitment to education. My mother returned to college in her fifties and entered a career in teaching."
--Dr. Diane Butler, Pediatrician

"While other girls would spend their allowance on make-up and clothes, I saved mine for chemicals and flasks to work on chemistry experiments in the attic. I never minded being different."
--Dr. Susan Lemagie, Obstetrician-Gynecologist

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 ...

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Publisher's Weekly

...a valuable framework for linking childhood experiences to achievement.

Kirkus Reviews

A paint-by-the-numbers plan for raising daughters that calls for being challenging but not too challenging, supportive but not too supportive, and promoting a work ethic. ...Hard work and high standards are the foundation of this dry template for guiding girls into becoming women who can successfully combine career and family.

Publisher's Weekly

...a valuable framework for linking childhood experiences to achievement.

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