It's only been a little while and I'm already missing Joan and Peggy from Mad Men. I can tell because their roles this season made me think about the archetypes of women in the workplace and how some of them have played out in popular culture.
This of course was prompted by Joan's power play and Peggy's uneasy flirtation/acceptance of power.
Here in the 21st century, women who wield power in business are placed into one of a few categories. You can add more.
A recent Catalyst survey of Fortune 500 companies found that in 2011, women accounted for 14.1% of executive officer positions. They are just 7.5% of top earners in those position, but there are apparently a lot of women being groomed for leadership in the "corporate pipeline."
Be friends with the other women (unless they really suck), learn some sports, avoid businesses that promote boys clubby tendencies, and other ways to deal if you can't play golf (I am awful at it, not that I was invited) and you don't smoke cigars.
Image: Pam Halpert from The Office, in front of her watercolors
The Office is a show that focuses on men–four out the five stars are male. Nonetheless, it's one of my very favorite shows, and I think it has strong, likable, interesting female characters. It's launched the career of Mindy Kaling, who writes for the show and plays the totally hilarious Kelly Kapoor. And it's got Pam Halpert (formerly Pam Beesley), whom I like quite a bit. Over the series, she has grown quite assertive, a admirable quality not usually rewarded in women. But her early independent ambition for art has been abandoned so that her professional identity can be attached to her husband Jim Halpert's.