We can all use kick-butt inspiration when it comes to our careers—and sometimes Hollywood comes through. Five of our fave movies featuring high-powered women characters:
Baby Boom—Her no-nonsense ways made J.C. Wiatt (Diane Keaton) a success in the biz world, but when she inherits a baby, she loses her job. So she leaves Manhattan for Vermont, where she struggles … until she gets a brilliant idea.
Lesson: With ingenuity and shoulder pads, you can have it all.
His Girl Friday—Hildy Johnson (Rosalind Russell) is about to trade in her hotshot reporting career for a boring man … but her editor (and ex) lures her back into the game with an irresistible story.
Lesson: The thrill of victory trumps safe and settled any day.
Working Girl—Tess McGill (Melanie Griffith) uses Wall Street savvy to rise from secretary to M&A superstar while her evil boss is stuck in Europe.
Lesson: Take big risks if you’ve got the skill to back ’em up.
Elizabeth—She narrowly avoids execution. She leads a divided nation. And she rejects marriage in favor of power. Queen Elizabeth I (Cate Blanchett) is a courageous, gown-wearing role model for the ages.
Lesson: When you know you’re capable, don’t shy away from power—wield it bravely.
Norma Rae—Norma Rae Webster (Sally Field) is fed up with the horrible conditions in her cotton mill—so she works to unionize. Her husband’s on her case and her bosses apply heavy pressure, but Norma Rae fights for workers’ rights.
Lesson: To quote the historian Laurel Thatcher Ulrich, “Well-behaved women seldom make history.”
Cheer her on. What’s your favorite kick-butt career-woman movie?