(5 of 13)
Of course, a business degree does not guarantee success or equality. Carol McLaughlin, a graduate student at Wharton, has surveyed Wharton graduates from 1945 to 1974. Among her findings: after being out of Wharton for 7½ years, men were earning an average salary of $23,000 a year v. $17,000 for women. On the average, the men had a staff of 30 people reporting to them; women averaged two or three. Observes McLaughlin: "The staff size is really startling. It shows that women are kind of doing things, but they are not really managing." From the comments on her questionnaires, McLaughlin has determined that "there are an awful lot of discouraged women out there." One Wharton alumna wrote, "I work twice as hard as a man just to prove I am not a dumb woman." Anti-female prejudice leaves a mark even on the most successful women. Virtually all harbor memories of slights and obstacles that were—or are—put in their paths.
But whatever the traumas, an increasing number of women have successful business careers. After working up through the corporate ranks, Marion Kellogg now earns more than $100,000 as General Electric's first woman vice president. Mary Wells, chairman of the Manhattan agency she helped found, Wells, Rich, Greene, Inc., is the advertising world's most heralded woman. Banker Catherine Cleary, president of First Wisconsin Corp., sits on the boards of A T & T, Kraftco and General Motors. Kay Knight Mazuy, senior corporate vice president of Shawmut Association Inc., New England's second largest banking firm, is an odds-on favorite to become Boston's first woman president of a major corporation.
THE PROFESSIONS: Finally Making It
Some 17% of women in the nation's work force are professionals, though most of them are teachers and nurses. But growing numbers are gaining access to law and medicine, in part because those professions demand specific skills that can disarm sex prejudice. About 25% of entering medical students are now women, up from 11% in 1971. Some 20% of law students are women, v. 8.5% in 1971.
Today, 7% of U.S. lawyers are women—an increase from 2.8% in 1972. Says one of them, Ann Quill Niederlander, 60, of St. Louis: "There is no question that women in the legal profession have made great strides. Women are now willing to go to women lawyers. We are finally making it."
The new willingness of women to consult women professionals—often their insistence on it—extends to doctors, notably gynecologists. Women make up a remarkable 80% of the work force in the nation's health services, but overwhelmingly, they are nurses and technicians—helpers rather than leaders. Only 9% of physicians are women. Female med students still find much to complain about. Says one: "Guess what part of a male cadaver I'm assigned to dissect first." But, says Dr. Frances K. Conley, 35, a top