This is a 1998 article from FORTUNE, about the 34 women of Harvard Business School’s Class of 1973 (the first year that HBS had a “significant” portion of the class be female – 4.4%).
Even though this article is almost 10 years old (can you believe that the 90s were TEN years ago!? I feel old), I really think it’s timeless.
Their advice: You can do anything, but you can’t do everything. So choose carefully.
The right question is about choices: implicit ones, explicit ones; choices made consciously and choices made by default. The wise women of the class of ’73 now know this–which is why they are nearly unanimous in the advice they would like to pass along to the women following them. The advice is not about how to break the glass ceiling or how to survive a sexist boss. It is instead to know thyself, and then to make your choices accordingly. “We in this generation were raised to think we could do anything,” says Lang. “Our parents told us, ‘You’re smart. You’re educated. You can do anything.’ And the answer is yes. You can do anything. But you can’t do everything.” The trick is having the wisdom to know the difference.