During a family dinner in mid-September, the conversation turned to Mad Men and the episode that had just recently aired. The topic: was Peggy out of line when she took it upon herself to fire a male employee who had been harassing Joan. The female guests at the table were evenly split into two age groups—24-32 and 50-60. The older women applauded Peggy’s initiative. The younger ones felt she had over stepped her bounds. In fact, the younger women found great value in Joan’s indirect methods—methods they almost all admitted to using daily in their offices. “Could this be”? Had things been thrown into reverse without anyone noticing? The more we talked that night, the more we all realized that some women are trapped in the roles of being either a Peggy or a Joan, but many women (especially younger ones) feel perfectly comfortable being both.
Fast forward to last week. I was at a monthly meeting of female CEO’s (age span mid-30’s to early 60’s). The meetings have no set agenda, and it’s our practice to move from topic to topic. I happened to mention my family’s dinner discussion, and before I had even finished relaying my story, the conversation took off. We sat for almost two hours dissecting the iconic series, the characters, the women’s movement, its real legacy, our own personal experiences and managerial styles. All this from a single television episode???? Before we left for the evening, we kiddingly asked each other in the parking lot—are you a Peggy or are you a Joan?
President & Ceo
Trims Unlimited, Inc.