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The Courage to Achieve: Why America’s Brightest Women Struggle to Achieve their Potential

by Betty Walker, Ph.D. and Marilyn Mehr, Ph.D.

What these women have to say is enlightening, provocative, explosive—and distressing. All of the women, regardless of age, socio-economic status, or race, shared the common denial of their special intelligence and abilities. Being bright was either considered a negative characteristic or was simply not an issue in their life decisions.

What makes The Courage to Achieve so vitally pertinent for women today is that it is not just for the so-called “bright” female, but for every woman who feels that she is underachieving. The key to changing this situation is what the authors call Active Engagement requiring both courage and risk. Whether her satisfactions are found in the home or the research lab, the boardroom or the schoolroom, a woman must make her choices out of desire, not default. As Dr. Walker says, “It is the courage to act that gives a woman the courage to achieve.”