As I mentioned before, I LOVE Mad Men. It is truly an amazing show. It really changed some of my thoughts on feminism. Heck, for a show supposedly about men, it became about the women. There were so many well-written characters, especially females. Mad Men is great if you are looking for inspiration in the workplace. The issues presented then, are still relevant now.
Peggy Olson: The real star of Mad Men, Peggy rose from the bottom. She is the epitome of a successful career woman. Over time she learns not to take anyone’s shit, and doesn’t apologize for her success or past mistakes. She begins her journey at Sterling Cooper as a secretary, then in show of advertising prowess, becomes a copywriter. Throughout the series, she proves to be equal, and at times superior to her male counterparts. Towards the end of the show, she has worked her way to Copy Chief at McCann-Erickson.
Joan Holloway-Harris: Joan was a pillar of confidence and never let her personal affairs get in the way of her job. She was also not afraid to speak her mind. Due to her tenure at the company, Joan demanded a 5% stake in SCDP and a voting partnership, and also becomes an account executive. At the conclusion of the series, Joan founds her own film production company, Holloway & Harris. Smash the Patriarchy queen!
Dawn Chambers: No one seems to talk about Dawn. She was a winner in her own way, and she was one of the few truly good characters on the show. She was the first Black secretary at Sterling Cooper, and was a good companion to Peggy in her time of need. Even through the turmoil in the office and in the outside world, Dawn always remained composed and professional. I was ecstatic when I saw her take over Joan’s job as Office Manager. She is a reminder that hard work and loyalty do pay off.
Rachel Menken: She knew her and the Menken brand’s worth and was not afraid to voice her opinion. Taking over her father’s business, she had a vision and stuck to it. Even at the professional advice of Sterling Cooper, Rachel still stood her ground. What I also love about her is that unlike a lot of Don’s other mistresses, she wouldn’t put up with his crap.
Bobbie Barrett: A true match to Don, Bobbie knew her power and was a keen manager and negotiator for her husband. She gives one of the best lines on the show:
“You can’t be a man, be a woman. It’s powerful business when done correctly.”
Which is pretty explanatory. Women are special. You don’t need to be someone else to succeed. Just be yourself. And:
This is America; pick a job and become the person who does it.
Dr. Faye Miller: Considered to be a modern career woman during the time of the show, she put her work above all else and was not tied to conventions of the era- such as marriage, and traditional feminine roles. Faye worked as a consultant for the SCDP and proved extremely helpful in research for advertising campaigns, and with assistance with her contacts when Lucky Strike left the company.
Adriana The Cinema Soloist