I have always heard about the show 'Mad Men', but never watched it until this week. I got the first season on DVD as a Christmas gift, and was excited to see what all of the buzz was about. A show that has impacted fashion trends has got to be at least a little interesting, right? Plus, it's about the advertising industry in the 1950's, which is also intriguing.
My first reaction to watching a few episodes, if they are even remotely accurate depictions of the workforce back then, is this: thank you, to all of the women who have paved the way for me in the business world. I never have and hopefully never will walk into a first day of work and be told to show more leg for my boss, be sent to the gynecologist for a birth control prescription, or be told that if things work well for me I'll be out of a job and raising kids in a country home in no time.
Honestly, the sexism that is portrayed in this show has truly blown my mind so far. It's also interesting to realize that in the more conservative companies that I have worked, men are still the predominant face of leadership and power. Women have very little presence at the top.
The proverbial 'boys club' definitely still exists in more conservative werk environments, and has often left me asking myself, "Even if I do become a part of the boys club some day, is that really the picture of success and accomplishment that I am seeking for myself? Is that really the type of environment where I would thrive, regardless of my gender?".
So while the last 60+ years have blazed incredible trails for younger women like me in the business world, I sometimes think breaking down those remaining 'walls' are probably going to be the hardest, because they have stood the test of time. If we have a girl, I wonder what her career will be like 20+ years from now?