ONE LAZY SPRING DAY during my junior year of college, several girlfriends and I went to a nearby river to swim and sunbathe. Out of the forest stepped a man who unzipped his pants and displayed his manly charms. I was the first to notice.
"Ladies," I hissed. "I believe we have a visitor!'
We convened a hasty conference. I proposed taking the traditional female approach and bolting. Marcia, however, would have none of that. She stood up and shouted, "Is that all you've got?" The man, of course, disappeared immediately. Marcia wasn't about to give up her lazy afternoon, and not much has stood in her way since then.
In that instant, Marcia demonstrated a trait that is utterly essential for the woman of achievement: the capacity to persevere toward a goal despite a variety of forces that might throw one off course. Consider, for instance, the statistics on female achievement. If roughly only 10 percent of top positions in any field are held by women--rather than the 50 percent that would represent our proportion of the population--simple arithmetic suggests that