Cracking the glass ceiling

You’ve come a long way, baby– at least since Virginia Slims built an ad campaign around the notion that having their own brand of cigarettes gave women a step toward equality with men.
True, only six Fortune 500 companies have women CEOs. And women’s earning power still is not even 75 percent of men’s, according to 1999 U.S. Department of Labor figures.
But despite those grim statistics, a number of Charlottesville women have grabbed the reins of economic power and are running their own companies– with the expectation that their butts won’t get pinched and the stares at their breasts won’t be too overt.
In the more than 30 years since the feminist movement came of age in the ‘60s, career options for women have soared beyond the traditional ones of teacher, nurse, or secretary. Women in this town build houses, pave roads, and sit on the judicial bench.
Perhaps the most surprising revelation from nearly a dozen high-powered females who are reaping the benefits of the pioneering efforts of their bra-burning forebears is that most do not consider themselves feminists. And most say their sex has not been a disadvantage in their work. Only one mentions the difficulties of raising children while working a demanding job.
Not one says she ever thought about being a teacher, nurse, or secretary– not that there’s anything wrong with that.

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