For the women who need us most

For the women who need us most

I’m Werking On My…

I’m Werking On My…

Our Top 10 films and series with strong careers women representations
By Lucy Hainsworth
Image: Careers women in top 10 films

Finding representations of strong careers women can be difficult in a world of voyeuristic film productions and stereotyped characters. But, amongst the ruckus, we have found our personal top 10 films and series that have a career-driven female character. 

  1. Suits
Image: Jessica Pearson from Pexels

The powerhouse behind the New York law firm in the series ‘Suits’. In between the power struggle of money hungry men, Jessica Pearson runs her law firm and battles through every barrier faced through intelligence, confidence and a little bit of luck…

Jessica is an inspirational figure after her climb to being the managing partner of her firm, but also an inspiration to black women all around that you can reach the ‘epitome of success’. There are scenes where Jessica connects to her roots with her auntie who are living in poverty in Chicago, and she uses her profession to help her family keep their home.

The way Jessica balances her private life and work life towards the end of the series is an inspiring narrative to women no matter their profession. After struggling for years with having to often present emotionless to get to the top, even keeping her marriage from her colleagues, to settling down whilst still in a successful career, Jessica Pearson can serve as an inspiration to Black girls everywhere that there is a way to have it all. 

  1. Legally Blonde
Image: Elle Woods from Pinterest

The film that began breaking down those barriers for the blondes of the world. Elle Woods takes the stereotype ‘dumb blonde’ and reinvents it as a Harvard Law School graduate. Elle teaches young girls you can be girly and smart whilst studying hard for your future career. From pink purses to handbag dogs, Elle Woods defines the ‘it’ girl caricature but she also adds power and brains into the equation.

Throughout the film, her intelligence surfaces alongside her style as we see the real brains behind the beauty. To any girly girl wanting to be taken seriously in your job, Elle Woods can be the inspiration for you. If you want to laugh, cry and eat a gallon of popcorn – this is the film for you. 

  1. NCIS
Image: Abby Sciuto, Mike Weatherly

For the geeky, the nerdy and the know-it-alls, you may relate to Abby Sciuto. Not only is she a forensic scientist on NCIS, she is the backbone to solving crimes on the show. She is a firm representative for the women in STEM, showing both a glowing personality and clever brains.

NCIS’s Abby also represents adopted children with a backstory of being adopted by deaf parents as a hearing child. This depth to Abby’s character makes her an inspiration for the work she does and represents how you can pursue your dreams no matter your background. Abby’s tough start in life motivated her to be the best version of herself for her career and that is inspiration you can also bring to your profession. 

  1. The Devil wears Prada 
Image: Miranda Priestly from Shutterstock

Miranda Priestly. She would love the phrase ‘slay’. From her high fashion looks to high standards of working are terrifyingly inspiring. Miranda’s character arc also allows the viewers to see a soft side to her personality after having her guard up for so long, seeing the woman behind the designer outfit. 

The Devil wears Prada combats many issues for women in work with their characters. Although Miranda Priestly is our highlighted boss, Anne Hathaway’s portrayal of Andrea Sachs in the movie displays how women can use their personalities to benefit their work and shock! You don’t need to be an opinionless minion in a dress. We also learn the importance of a work life balance from character Emily Charlton after she struggles with slaving away her life for her occupation and realises, this gets you nowhere. Overall ‘The Devil wears Prada’ is a film that uplifts the women fashionistas of the world. 

  1. Hidden figures 
Image: Hidden Figures

The story of three female African-American mathematicians who were a part of NASA’s launch into orbit. In an inspiring drama, ‘Hidden Figures’ highlights three women who were pivotal to the momentous launch of astronaut John Glenn into orbit. 

Their fight for equality went viral where they spoke about being a Black woman in a world of white men, and not even having a bathroom to go to. The awareness this film brought to Black women in work is inspiring and gives a voice to those who need it. 

  1. Mr and Mrs Smith
Image: Mr and Mrs Smith, blogspot

As a successful undercover assassin, Mrs Smith manages to convince her husband she is carrying out her duties as a housewife with her cooking, cleaning and chilling out. But, how does she get away with this?

If you can move through and accept the voyeuristic shots and outfits entwined throughout the movie, Mr and Mrs Smith is a film that presents women as equal to men in careers through action and crime. Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt played the parts of married assassins, who do not know the other’s occupation. 

In a twist of events it seems they aren’t just each other’s romantic match and in fact battle it out in their own unique styles of their occupation. Mrs Smith does not back down from a fight and as an active, strong woman saves her husband’s life. This film serves as an inspiration to all women that you can go chase your wildest dreams, and don’t let the men stop you. Whether that is dreams of being an assassin, or any other male-dominated industry, there is a place for you to shine. 

  1. Silent witness
Image: Clarissa Mullery TVDB

As a part of BBC’s crime thriller series, ‘Silent Witness’, Clarissa Mullery was a forensics examiner on the show who had a witty humour and scientific brain. Clarissa isn’t only a representation for women in STEM, but careers women with disabilities too. 

The actress, Liz Carr, was disabled from age seven with arthrogryposis multiplex congenita and serves as an inspiration for other disabled women that they could too become forensics examiners, or any other career, like Clarissa. Her representation in ‘Silent Witness’ broke down barriers for the disability community by showcasing an active, important member of their team being able to do their job beyond competently, whilst being disabled. 

  1. Our girl
Image: Michelle Keegan, Flickr

We salute you Georgie Lane. The character, played by Michelle Keegan, is a representative of the gutsy army girls amongst us. Digging deep in the trenches and gaining an inhumane amount of strength is something many girls one daydream of. Let’s be honest, we’ve all dreamt about being Michelle Keegan in army uniform, but in reality, it is a passion of many. 

This strong, brave and courageous representation of military women is inspiring to watch as she defends her country. Having done numerous tours in Afghanistan, the portrayal of Georgie Lane follows her inspirational story as a woman in active warfare. This can serve as an inspiration for all the tough women out there who want to get involved in a bit of warfare. 

  1. Vera
Image: Vera, TVDB

Vera, the UK’s tough nut of a careers women. Her portrayal as a Chief Inspector is inspiring as she leads her team to investigate murders time and time again. Her professional, strict routine is an inspiration for women wanting to be leaders. If she can, you can.

Although many viewers see Vera as self-possessed, her determination and authority is inspirational to women for putting themselves first in their careers and following that gut instinct. Vera earnt the respect of all her colleagues through her passion and drive, and you can too. If you’re wondering what dedication looks like, it is here. 

  1. Never have I ever 
Image: Never Have I Ever

This Netflix series is an excellent representation for both strong career women and South Asian immigrants. Within the show we have two working women, Dr Nalini Vishwakumar and Kamala. Nalini is a single mum, raising her teenage daughter alone after her husband died. The family moved to America from Sri Lanka and Nalini became a dermatologist. 

Kamala is another of the main characters who is a scientist; the show depicts the struggles being in a male dominated industry and being taken seriously as a woman in STEM. Both women are brilliant examples of women can run a household and a career, whilst also being immigrants in the western world 

We hope you enjoyed our selection of movies to watch if you’re wanting to see some inspiring careers women.