Christina Hendricks Makes a Plea for Equal Pay With PSA

You may know Christina Hendricks best from her role as Joan Holloway in Mad Men. There, she drinks liquor for lunch, types up notes using -- what else? -- a typewriter, and keeps the younger ladies in the office in line. After all, it’s the 1960s -- what else is she to do?

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Though Mad Men is currently between seasons, Hendricks’s character is revived in a brilliant PSA that debuted this week, which we spotted first on HelloGiggles, only this time in a “modern office” featuring smartphones and desktop computers. As we watch Joan try to erase typos on her computer screen, make martinis in the lunchroom and bring her own jello salad to work for lunch, her new co-workers from the year 2014 ask her what in the world she’s doing. Is she really incapable of working in office 50 years ahead of her time?

Holloway (or rather Hendricks) replies that “In the United States, women make 23 percent less than their male counterparts. Almost 70 percent of the minimum wage work force is female, but only 15 percent of fortune 500 CEOs are. ...If we’re going to run our businesses like it’s the 1960s, I’m going to act like it.

There’s much more to the story. PayScale's research shows that there is definitely a gap in pay between men and women, at least partly due to the fact that more women work in jobs that pay less. The CEO pay gap is also a notable problem -- regardless of gender. (Although as Hendricks points out, women are more likely to have those low-earning jobs.) The worst offender? CVS, which pays its CEO over $12 million per year, while its average employee only makes $28,000 per year. 

When you look at the data, it does seem like Joan has a point: we may as well work like it’s the 1960s with these kind of numbers -- unless we do something about it.

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1 Comment

  1. 1 Leslie C 21 Aug
    The problems for women are deeper than just a pay discrepancy. Your so called "lower paying positions" as administrators, secretaries and retail just to name a few are lower paying becasue somewhere men decided these positions didn't need to be paId more. These are positions where they want you to be savy, multi-task, sell their products, be an effective communicator, do much of the bosses work for him, etc, etc, etc. These jobs are paying less now then they were 20 years ago, yet the CEO's and other Administration jobs are paid more an more and more until the pay scale is all out of wack. Then there is the problem that the glass ceiling is very low for women. I worked for a large telephone company and there was a token woman here and there, but mostly men in management. The women they chose for the better positions were not more educated or better at their jobs, but as I overheard several managers talking one day, the picked the best looking people to promote? What the heck, this is worse than the 1960"s. Now try and prove they say that is a whole other ball of wax. Then they move young male managers around and these young men all mostly under 35, some much younger, believe that they can micromanage you as if you are an idiot, because of course you are a woman. If you do anything using your brain, they realize you are smarter than they are and they become very worried that you will take their job and then they get rid of you. I see it happening in many different vocations, not just communications. Women are deemed to be too emotional, we are constantly told we can not be emotional because emotions have nothing to do with business. They judge women on a different standard then men. A man can questions something to a boss and not agree and curse and walk off, if a woman even questions it, she is too emotional and can not think. I could go on all day at the double standards to which women are held. Women in high paying careers, or in management are then made fun of by them around them. Once they hit the management positions, many find the pressure too great. They have to do twice the amount of work that a man will do to keep their positions. Careers in high tech industries or in engineering and technical positions are staffed by very few women. Women in college come out trained in these positions, but when they find a job, 3/4 of them quit after a few years because they feel out of place and are treated differently then the men in an office. I once had a high tech job in an industry that was full of men. Every meeting we had, and I was the only woman in the meeting, I was asked to make a pot of coffee and bring it in. When I approached my boss and very nicely told him how I felt he did not understand what the problem was. He also later did not understand why when told by another boss that I should not have the job because women should stay at home according to the bible, that I was upset by that statement. I have a fiend who is an It executive with a major bank. very meeting she goes to she is elected to take the notes and then edit and distribute them to everyone else in addition to all of her other duties. When she finally had the guts to ask about it she was told if she did not conform her name would be at the top of the list when it came time to lay off in their department even though she was vastly more experienced and did much more of the work load than the other men in her department. I could go on and on, but what I am trying to say is that all of the ground women gained in the 60's and 70,s has been lost. As women we need to stick together and start finding ways to report these abuses, turn them around and we need to help each other get to the positions of equality. Lord knows we deserve it.


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