Professional Women Abound


Women are the majority in pharmacy school. In 2007, 61% of all master's degrees went to women.

These days, ambitious, talented women are staying single in droves. Are they just too busy? Too discriminating? Or just too scary. “Stepford Wives”, they are not. Can you see a predicament? It looks like successful career women may be in a pickle.

Successful women (modern young female medical professionals) DO NOT look for men who are lower on the food chain. They think that they have a right to expect their potential partners to be at least as successful as they are, and to have just as much to offer as they do. For the majority of young professional women, this is uncharted territory. They are the pioneers and breaking new ground is never easy. They are intrepid about charging into health clubs and bars. Probably bad choices, but even at the church’s singles club, the men want to dominate their women.

Where do you find these successful, equal men that you crave? Women are the majority in pharmacy school. In 2007, 61% of all master’s degrees went to women. Men who are your equals are going to be harder and harder to find. With not enough successful men around, successful women are choosing to stay single. It certainly looks dismal.

So, you are not one of those women who will willingly forego marriage. It is okay with you to be the educated, successful one in the family. The problem is that the potential partners who are not intimidated by strong, successful women are on a short list. I knew a pediatrician who was married to a blacksmith. The problem is that there just aren’t that many confident, self-assured blacksmiths out there who are well educated. It was perfectly okay with this guy that the pediatrician made a lot more money that he did. His secret ego booster was his recent past as a naval aviator. Except for the money, they felt like equals.

How many of you women have heard or said this? “There are no good men left. They are all married or gay.” Or something as equally lamentable. I would say that the female nurse practitioner is at the top of her game. She is on professional cruise control and I don’t care how enlightened the men claim to be, they are liable to be intimidated.

A female pharmacist is well educated, probably well traveled and socially savvy. Men are going to run from this woman. They’d rather have a stripper. There have been Niagaras of tears shed over this dynamic, but it happens all over the place.

It is not that men still can’t see that women can be equally capable professionally; they just have a hard time visualizing their role in a relationship when the women outrank them on all the measures they use to measure their own success. It is gloomy for the men. It is worse for the power chicks. It makes it very hard for them to find the partner they want. One who is professionally equal.

Where does this leave many young, well-paid, successful female medical professionals? Single or with gold-diggers. They are out there. Men with marginal skills and great charm who are looking for the money. I have had an association with a female pharmacy owner whose husband is the quintessential male gold-digger. His life includes a stacked Harley-Davidson, a $70,000 Mercedes, a health club, regular manicures & pedicures, capped teeth, diamonds in his ear lobes and more. He does not work, but he gets a regular pay check courtesy of the pharmacy.

In the end, common values and goals, generosity, intelligence, respect, a sense of humor and, of course, that animal attraction can win the day. (Notice that attraction is the last on the list) The pediatrician and the blacksmith are gorgeously happy. For years I have been advising female pharmacists to be careful out there. The gold-digger is the joker in the deck.

So, what’s a power chick to do? Take a deep breath. Then, get used to it. You are a POWER CHICK even though you have not had to claw your way up a corporate ladder. Review your expectations and that does not mean lower them. You just may not be looking in the right places. Just be careful of the sleaze-balls with capped teeth and a good smile.

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