Experience dictates that someone with the title “Equalities Minister” (sic) is not likely to be a friend of business.
We are therefore delighted to be able to write in praise of Lynne Featherstone, MP, for her excellent suggestion that Joan from Mad Men should be a role model for women.
Her point is that women should be proud of their natural body shape and that the fashion for women to look like stick insects is a marketing con. As we pointed out in a previous post – under some business pretext or other – this is a point on which both men and feminists are agreed.
Yet there is a broader point that Mrs Featherstone missed but which supports her case for Joan as a feminist role model.
Anyone who has seen the television series – highly recommended, by the way – will know that Joan is the best manager in the advertising agency for which she works. While the partners seem to spend most of their time drinking and committing adultery, Joan is the one who actually runs things.
Joan is loyal, intelligent, organised, socially perceptive, efficient, and a born leader. Think of her as a Company Sergeant Major with the curves of a D-Type Jaguar, or perhaps a sexy version of Margaret Thatcher.
The last season saw her sidelined, married to an unappreciative dolt. Things went downhill at the agency without her. The priapic partners had to sober up and set up a new agency in just 48 hours. Chaos ensues until one of them says he knows someone who might be able to help. Cue Joan’s dramatic return – the moment she walks through the door, everyone knows everything is going to be all right.
Yes, Mrs Featherstone is right on this one: we need a lot more Joans. Every businessman fantasises about having one – and not for the reason most people might think.