Jane Wins Again – Book Review

JaneWinsAgainGreatPotentialPressJane Wins Again: Can Successful Women Have it All?

Dr. Sylvia Rimm with Dr. Sara Rimm-Kaufman and Dr. Ilonna Rimm
Great Potential Press, Inc. Press Inc.
paperback, $24.95, 412 pp.
ISBN: 978-1-935067-28-3

Publishers Description:

How do successful and often gifted women achieve and keep on achieving? What began as a three-year survey of 1,000 successful women culminates fifteen years later in this capstone chronicle detailing both the research and stories of childhood and adult elements that help women achieve.

In this third installment, following See Jane Win and How Jane Won, Sylvia Rimm and her daughters expand on their original research and interviews with updates from a selection of women who reflect on their challenges and successes to offer advice and inspiration for young girls and women. With a long-term perspective towards life satisfaction, the book explores what works best for women and their daughters who want it all—education, career, marriage, children, and more.

Review by Elaine S. Wiener

click here to get the PDF of this review

We are quite spoiled by Sylvia Rimm’s books! For years I have used all of Dr. Rimm’s books with details so precise and helpful. I used them as a teacher and also as a parent. And when my granddaughter has children, as is her wish, a whole set of books is waiting for her to read.

In the introduction to Jane Wins Again, Dr. Rimm talks about the feminist movement of the 1960s opening up doors “for women to achieve equality in many leadership positions.” More than 50 years have passed since the feminist movement of the 1960’s, but women have fought for equality over decades long before.

Dr. Rimm reminds us that “it was an increase in opportunities in the childhood home and school environments that encouraged girls to pioneer and explore careers that their mothers and grandmothers were prevented from entering.”

She believes that “much of the research on raising girls for equality has relied on comparisons of how boys were treated at home and in classrooms and has assumed that if girls are raised similarly and with the same educational opportunities, girls and boys will become equally successful.”

However, Dr. Rimm states that “biology tells us that men and women are surely not the same.  {Every woman knows that!} Gender differences need to be addressed.”

This book is the third installment of the See Jane Win series and is a 15 year follow-up of a sample of successful women and how they were able to lead effective and happy lives. That sounds simple but it wasn’t. Although these women were successful, this book shows how many heartaches they experienced and how hard they had to work.

The following are wonderful lines from Jane Wins Again:

This book is designed for at least four groups of readers. First, parents will find research-based advice for raising their daughters. Teachers and mentors will understand the positive difference they make by encouraging girls. A third audience should be women who might like to compare their stories to those of successful women in order to better understand themselves. Finally, preadolescent, teens, and young adult women can find inspiration and guidance in the stories of these successful women.

I would be remiss not to acknowledge the persistence of gender bias in the workplace. It has been proven multiple times in blind control studies for job applications, salaries, grants, and tenure reviews. When the same resumes are evaluated with names of men compared to names of women, men won out even when the evaluators were both men and women. That too must change. Men and women alike must resolve to make work environments gender fair and unpunishing to women with more familial responsibilities.

For all ranks and positions, women earn only 81% of the amount earned by men.

A similar finding holds true for symphony orchestras. It wasn’t until orchestras began to use screens for auditions that percentages of women increased from less than 1% to 35%.

Jane Wins Again is full of advice and suggestions made in lists easy to read and can be used forever and ever. The stories told by these women are open and honest, full of heartaches even though these women are successful and have very important jobs. The combination of these stories and Dr. Rimm’s own words make this book a keeper.

Resiliency or the ability to recover from misfortune was an absolutely necessary ingredient in the success of these women, but creativity and flexibility played a part on that resiliency, along with perseverance.

And that says it all!

ElaineElaine S. Wiener is Associate Editor for Book Reviews for the Gifted Education Communicator.

She is retired from the Garden Grove Unified School District GATE program and can be reached at 17elaine@att.net

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