Do "gifted girls" grow up to become successful women? That depends on how you define success, according to a study conducted by Alice Rowe, author of the book, "Where Have All the Smart Women Gone?"

Highlights of Rowe's research, as well as several articles examining important women's issues, appear in the inaugural edition of Advancing Women in Leadership, the Internet's first on-line, academic journal dedicated to examining and expanding feminine leadership worldwide. The journal is co-edited by Genevieve Brown and Beverly J. Irby, professors of educational leadership at Sam Houston State University.

For her study Rowe interviewed 34 college-educated women whom, as children, participated in "gifted and talented" educational programs. Their common experiences, Rowe found, demonstrate many of the obstacles confronting aspiring women in a traditionally male-dominated society.

Among Rowe's findings:

Rowe's study suggests that many gender barriers confronting women of exceptional abilities could be surmounted if these women flaunt their talents rather than yield to outside pressure to play them down.

"When society discourages women from showing their intelligence, two problems arise," Rowe writes. "Not only are women's abilities hidden, but bright women are literally hidden from one another."

Rowe concludes that it is important for talented women to define and pursue their own goals and to realize that female achievement is not necessarily measured in terms of professional success.

In fact, most of the women participating in Rowe's study defined success in terms of personal fulfillment. High on their list were the rewards received from nurturing children and from balancing a career with a satisfying personal life.

Other articles appearing in the first edition of Advancing Women in Leadership:

The goal of Advancing Women in Leadership is to provide a forum for accomplished women to share with an international audience their experiences or research on women's and girl's issues, Irby explained. The articles published in the journal report, synthesize, review or analyze scholarly inquiry and issues important to women and girls.

"We want the journal to expand the global support network for women in leadership positions," Brown said. "The Internet, with a reach transcending national and cultural barriers, offers an exceptional medium for this groundbreaking endeavor."

The academic journal is linked to the Advancing Women web site, an international on-line network for women in the workplace published by Gretchen Glasscock.

The journal's creators plan to post three editions on the Internet each year. The website, Glasscock said, will be accessible, for free, to anyone with basic web-browsing software.


Media Contact: Phillip Rollfing

March 27, 1997