They are five women who have "made it" -- two vice presidents, two entrepreneurs and a high-level federal official. Most are also wives and mothers, who can banish a nightmare as well as balance a million-dollar budget.
As part of Georgetown University's current "Business Week '80," they discussed their work and their life styles with a group of 100 students. Here, briefly, are their comments: a capsule view, perhaps, of the concerns, the victories, the satisfactions and the conflicts shared by working women at large.
Brenda Eddy, vice president, Transcentury Corp.
"Contrary to what many people think, being a woman in business is less threatening to a lot of people than being a man. Men can have a kind of 'bantam cock' relationship where they threaten each other.
"But people relax when you're a woman -- if you have the credentials to be taken seriously. Plus women are trained from childhood to be tuned into what's going on. It's a real advantage because you can tell when someone's uptight or confused and can communicate better.
"We live in a city townhouse, so I can come home and take the kids to lunch if I'm feeling guilty. Weekends are strictly family -- with my husband and three kids.
"I switch off responsibilities with my husband. When two people are traveling, have after-work receptions and 8 a.m. meetings it's an ongoing saga of who's going to do what, when.
"In some ways it's a lot more relaxing than just having a family or a career. You can't get to be a workaholic or get intensely wrapped up in the inner workings of your husband and kids.
"I have no time to learn guitar or take pottery. I spend time with my kids and time with my job. And that's fine with me."
Maxine G. Garrett, vice president, Riggs National Bank.
"The youngest of my (four) children was 2 years old when I lost my husband. Until that time I hadn't planned to work. I had done teaching, but I needed a job that paid year around.
"I became the first black in the state of Indiana to be hired in a bank. I continued school and worked two jobs. In 1972 a group of black businessmen were putting together a minority bank, and I became involved with that.
"In 1975 someone heard me speak to the National Association of Bank Women and asked if I'd move to Washington. My family makes all major decisions as a unit. Even today, living across the country, we get together on a long-distance conference call to talk things over.
"My children said: 'You've paid your dues to us. We're grown.' So I became the first female branch manager for Riggs National Bank.
"My advice to young people is to make contacts. Take people's business cards. Ask for help. Don't just be one of the many people going into a personnel office.
"Support from your family is very important to your career. I always took the time to go to the school play or take them to Sunday concerts in the park. They knew I was a concerned parent."
Anne Haulsee, management training and development consultant.
"My master's degree in sociology wasn't worth much financially . . . so I began to market training programs for women. There's a lot of pressure in owning your own business. Everything rests on your shoulders.
"But I thrive on it. I lose all track of time and frequently work very late. Successful women business owners work long hours -- up to 18 hours a day -- and have a very high energy level.
"I recently married -- in July. I'm never in the least bit concerned about his laundry or his food. I kept my own name. I live in a condominium that takes an hour and a half to clean.
"We have a marriage contract. I feel it's important to have the relationship clearly defined because my career is so important to me. I don't plan to have children.
"I feel that you can't really place all your hopes in a personal relationship because that can change. My career is essential to me -- I can do with or without a husband.
"It's vital for you to understand what it is you care about and then pursue it. Don't let other things get in your way."
Rosalee Hayden, International Communication Agency's director for U.S. Government Exchanges Policy.
"I was one of three women in a class of 125 when getting my masters in international affairs at Columbia. Job interviewers told me they didn't hire women in managerial positions.
"So I worked for six years playing piano at Holiday Inns and Hilton Hotels. While my husband was at Michigan University I dabbled in a doctorate degree.When someone later asked why it took me 6 years to get my Ph.D. I said it was because I didn't have a wife to put me through graduate school.
"We have no kids by choice for a variety of reasons -- financial, Vietnam. Life has a way of happening to you sometimes.
"My husband just got a job in New York, so we're adjusting. Since I travel so much in my job -- 150,000 to 200,000 miles a year -- I try to route myself through New York. We're very committed to each other.Some people don't understand that. But we're determined to make it work.
"My advice is to get credentials. They do give you credibility. And excellence counts. You have to be better, but don't complain about it -- men have to be better, too, to get ahead.
"Learn how to balance off your own sexual and professional identity. You don't have to look like Margaret Mead or Phyllis Diller, but you can't bat your eyelashes and then wonder why you're not taken seriously."
Nancy Nollen, career development consultant.
"One of the greatest concerns for women in business is support. Who are your friends? Where is your network? Like high school, there are 'in' groups and 'out' groups in business, and all of us have to be connected with people who can support us.
"The most important personal issues are managing stress, managing time and managing guilt. I have a 9- and a 5-year-old. My husband and I are very professionally oriented.
"One of our major tasks is continual communication. There's a fine line between being a team and feeling used. We have to constantly clarify our communications to make sure we're working as a team. Having quality household service is also very important.
"My husband and I find we've got to have a sanctuary, too. To balance our lives we take a space of time, take the telephone off the hook, sit around the fire and have a night for us.
"And have a humorist in your life. You've got to have that part inside you laughing as you're struggling. It keeps you sane."