Women's accounts of their professional development are replete with references to the self. When they talk about their relation to work and how their careers unfolded, they naturally talk about themselves. In actuality, women's self-development is the topic of this entire volume. In Part 1, their self-disclosures formed the underside of a text whose main theme was work. Here we look at the self more squarely in its own right.
Information about women's self-development comes from interviews that were centered primarily on career. What we learn about the women themselves is drawn, therefore, from both direct and indirect responses. They were explicitly questioned about self-perception, especially with reference to experienced change. Additionally, they offered observations about personal characteristics, internal dynamics, and interpersonal behavior in conjunction with responses to a variety of other questions. All self-expression was welcome, and this chapter represents its compilation regardless of contextual source.
Women discuss aspects of themselves that are ostensibly most related to functioning in the workplace. Ambition, achievement needs, and notions of what constitutes success have apparent connections to work and to the development of a career. Although self-assertion and confidence are discussed within a context of professional growth, women readily acknowledge their wider ramifications. In fact, their reflections