Little is known about the ambitions, values, and experiences of women in Mexico. 1 Even less is known about women who have sought out professional careers. Among professionals, politically active women, because of their public visibility, have attracted some scholarly attention, but little serious analysis has resulted. In this chapter I provide a comparative analysis of women's access to political careers, both with Mexican men and, to a lesser degree, with women elsewhere in the world of politics. Consequently, I will examine what type of women emerge in national public office, what paths they pursue to reach the apex of the political system, and what opportunities lie ahead. It is essential to understand the characteristics of the recruitment process because it is not a lack of political ambition, but access to officeholding, that is a decisive variable in explaining the level of female representation (Carroll 1985:241).