1973年，贝蒂•弗里丹的《女性的奥秘》（The Feminine Mystique）一书已经问世10年，《Ms.》杂志发行了第一期刊物。美国劳工统计局（Bureau of Labor Statistics）的资料显示，那年女性涌入职场，占到劳动人口的40%。拥有学龄子女的已婚女性多半从事着付薪工作。然而，《财富》（Fortune）杂志的温德姆•罗伯逊在1973年4月的一篇文章中调查了大公司的用人情况，他对这种所谓的女性职场崛起产生了疑问：“她们究竟在哪里？”
她们到底有多么罕见？《财富》将目光对准了工业企业1,000强和非工业企业50强榜单。在这1,300家公司中，有1,220家必须向美国证券交易委员会（SEC）提交报告，披露有关薪酬最高的三位高管和收入超过3万美元（相当于如今的16万美元左右）的所有主管的信息。在由此产生的6,500人中，只有11人是女性。在减去一位似乎并未过多参与公司管理的女性后，罗伯逊在一篇名为《大公司里职位最高的10名女性》（The Ten Highest-Ranking Women in Big Business）的文章中简要介绍了剩余的10位女性。这篇文章显示了40年来哪些已经改变，更为重要的是，哪些未曾改变。
讽刺的是，“这些女性显然都不必工作，实际上，要是没有家庭关系，她们中有些人根本不会去工作，或者不会拥有辉煌的事业”。时代明镜公司（Times Mirror Co.）的多萝西•钱德勒在她的个人简介中写道：“如果我不是诺曼•钱德勒太太，我就不会拥有我曾得到的那些机会。”
The year was 1973. Betty Friedan's The Feminine Mystique had been out for a decade; Ms.magazine had published its first issue. Women were pouring into the workforce, hitting 40% of the total working population that year, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Over half of married women with school-age kids held a paying job. And yet, as Fortune'sWyndham Robertson surveyed the world of big business in an April 1973 story, he had a question about this supposed female surge: "Where in blazes are they?"
A mere 3% of women in the workforce were "managers and administrators," according to the BLS, and, as Robertson wrote, "in jobs where visibility is greatest -- i.e. in corporate management -- women are seldom seen."
How seldom seen? Fortune looked at its list of the 1,000 largest industrial companies, plus the 50 largest companies in six non-industrial businesses. From this list of 1,300 firms, 1,220 had to file proxies with the SEC that provided information on the top three paid officers, and any director earning over $30,000 (equivalent to just shy of $160,000 today). Of the 6,500 names generated that way, a mere 11 turned out to be women. After subtracting a woman who appeared not to be closely involved in running her company, Robertson profiled the others in a piece called "The Ten Highest-Ranking Women in Big Business" that is notable both for showing what has changed in 40 years and, as importantly, what has not.
In 1973, it was almost impossible for a woman to work her way up the ranks to a leadership role. Robertson wrote that while the women on the list -- which included names such as the Washington Post's (WPO) Katharine Graham and Barbie creator Ruth Handler -- were "highly capable and hard-working executives," they also, with only two exceptions, "were helped along by a family connection, by marriage, or by the fact that they helped to create the organizations they now preside over. In short, most of them did not have to deal with at least two problems that have over the years held back even the most able and qualified women: They did not start out in their companies in jobs with limited futures, and they did not have to work their way through a corporate hierarchy that discriminated against them."
The irony of this was that "none of these women, obviously, has to work, and in fact some of them wouldn't have -- or wouldn't have had careers -- without the family tie-in." Dorothy Chandler of the Times Mirror Co., reported in her profile that, "If I had not been Mrs. Norman Chandler, I would not have had the opportunities I've had."
But, as Robinson wrote, "Each of them plays an effective and important role within her corporation -- an impressive bit of evidence that other female executive talent is going to waste."