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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (Jan. 29, 1998)
tips to break
By Ann Mary Landis
Even though the idea of male and
female roles are not as prevalent as they
were three decades ago, Gretta
Goodwin, a UNL graduate teaching
assistant in economics, said many
stereotypes still exist.
“For whatever reason, (people)
think women are the only people sup
posed to be taking care of the kids,”
Goodwin was one of seven women
panelists in male-dominated fields who
said Wednesday night they had butted
up against the glass ceiling and knew
why many women would never break
During a forum sponsored by the
Commission and the University of
Nebraska-Lincoln Women’s Center, the
women said they have, for the most
part, overcome an invisible barrier that
can keep many women from advancing
in their mostly male workplaces.
The third-annual forum was held in
the Nebraska East Union.
Some of the women said the stereo
type of women as mothers and as
homemakers causes many women to
fall into time management problems.
“I think the biggest drawback is bal
ance. We have so many draws on our
energy,” said Nancy Muehling, who
owns Muehling Construction. “Often
we are not strong enough to say no.”
Kathleen Rutledge, an editor at the
Lincoln Journal Star, and pilot Chandra
Clanton agreed women struggle to find
a balance between their home and
But the Rev. Jane Heenan from the
Church of the Holy Trinity said the
biggest challenge for women is to com
“I think a lot of times if women
expressed their thoughts in ways they
would actually be heard, things would
be much better,” she said.
Women must pay attention to their
audience, she said, and speak in a way
that audience will best understand.
Goodwin, however, said a lack of
financial opportunity holds many
“Lack of economic empowerment
is one of the biggest concerns facing
women today,” she said.
Some women said they would tell
their daughters to succeed by living as
“State your own opinions and don’t
lean on someone else to back you up,”
utners said women must be “true”
“Find something that you care pas
sionately about,” Heenan said. “When
you care about the people you work
with more than your own ambitions,
you can’t fail.”
Other women said success comes
only to those with a strong work ethic.
“Be prepared to work extremely
hard,” Goodwin said.
Although all women panelists have
succeeded in male-dominated fields,
many said their first career goals were
in more traditional fields for women.
At the age of 12, Rutledge said, she
“wanted to be a teacher because that’s
what girls did.”
Goodwin said she once wanted to
be a math teacher.
The idea of female roles kept
Joanne Bronson’s childhood goals
lower than her abilities, she said.
“I wanted to be a nurse and never
dreamed I could be any higher than a
nurse,” said Bronson, who now works
as a certified nursing midwife.
Muehling said she was older than
the others and, therefore, was raised in a
different generation. Growing up, she
had an even more limited view of
women’s career opportunities than the
“My greatest aspiration at 12 was to
marry a farmer and be die best cook in
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