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Secure but Still Challenged
CNBC.com | October 10, 2011 | 11:49 AM EDT

When I was in high school and planning my career several decades ago, it would have never occurred to me to aim for the stars.

On one scholarship application, I wrote that I hoped to write for a small newspaper one day before, perhaps, having a family — and as a result presumably scaling back my ambition. I couldn’t even contemplate that only a few decades later, the majority of American and European women would routinely, though imperfectly, manage both a job and a family.

And I’m not even that old.

Yes, the world has changed a lot, and faster than many might have expected.

So when we began planning our special report " Women in Business ,"I was eager to learn how women are really doing in the workplace. Clearly, many women are successful, powerful and making money, as our special report shows. But do they occupy leadership positions and command respect—and what impact do they have on the workplace?

If these questions seem passé in our post-feminist world, I learned that the answers are not.

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