Ten Women Who Are Great At Their Jobs. Careful, Honey, Don't Hurt Your Pretty Little Head On That Glass Ceiling.
Kalinda Sharma "The Good Wife" This series is, in fact, a bastion for women who are great at their job. But we've seen great lawyers like Diane Lockhart and Alicia Florrick before. Archie Punjabi's Kalinda feels new. As the firm's investigator she uses every tool in her arsenal (cunning, seduction, a baseball bat) to get what she needs.
Martha Klein "Mostly Martha" This film ought to fall into that tired trope of "this woman is good at her job but is not fulfilled until she has a man and a kid" because, well, that's basically the plot. Unlike the dreadful American remake, however, this great German flick shows more respect for Martha's professional strength even as she softens.
Doctor Michaela Quinn "Doctor Quinn, Medicine Woman" Listen, Dr. Quinn not only ran a frontier clinic, but I'm fairly certain she raised some kids, bagged the hottest guy in town and single-handedly ended racism. Not too shabby, doc.
Kaylee Frye "Firefly" "Machines just got workins and they talk to me." Kaylee kept Serenity flying against all odds. Good job, chica.
C. J. Cregg "The West Wing" Any dozen of Sorkin women could have landed on this list. From Annette Bening's character in American President to Felicity Huffman's on "Sports Night" and, pretty much, all the ladies on "The West Wing," Sorkin clearly has respect and admiration for a lady who can get the job done.
Amanda Bonner "Adam's Rib" Okay, I don't know why Katherine Hepburn is posing like she's on "I Dream of Jeannie," her Amanda is a powerful lawyer who doesn't let the social mores of the time or pressure from her husband keep her from doing her job. I feel like I could have put a number of Kate's roles on this list, but Amanda stuck firm in my mind.
Anne Shirley "Anne of Avonlea" A lot of the work of the successful teacher is done outside the classroom. Miss Shirley here (following the Miss Stacey model, of course) not only captivates and educates her young students but, while employed at a prestigious boarding school, wins over an implacable Principal and a prejudiced school board. Politics shouldn't be such a huge part of being an educator, but it is, and Anne Shirley never met a person she couldn't charm.
Dian Fossey "Gorillas In The Mist" Of course, this character is based on an actual female who was amazing at her job and dedicated to her life's work. I have immense respect for Fossey and for female scientists in general. It's still not an easy field for ladies.
Joan Harris "Mad Men" Much is made of Peggy Olson, and rightly so, but Joan's contributions are often overshadowed by her other sizable assets. Joan's efficiency, organization and genuine love for her job are the most endearing things about her. Well, third most.
Joanna Robinson does so enjoy ending a female empowerment piece with a little objectification. Keeps you on your toes, no?