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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