80s & 90s BIZ LADIES / by Britt Howard

Halloween, 1991: I’m six years old and ready for a lucrative night of candy collection. My chosen receptacle for said stash of impending sweets? My dad's brown leather briefcase. You see, on the one night a year that it’s socially acceptable to be whatever you want—a witch, a cat, a superhero, a bag of potato chips—I carefully selected my temporary identity as a classy-as-hell BUSINESS LADY. Wool blazer & mini skirt? Check. Pantyhose? Check. Black rimmed glasses sans lenses? Check. Sensible brown oxfords? Double check.

I’m doubtful that I was the only girl that year dressed as a serious biz lady. So prominent were the business woman characters on TV and in movies and comics during that era: Murphy Brown. Rose Lindsey. Cathy. Angela Bower. Charlotte Pickles. Clair Huxtable. Some were smooth-talking powerhouses like Sigourney Weaver as Katharine Parker in Working Girl. Some had to learn to toughen up to get what they wanted—remember Melanie Griffith as Tess McGill? Some were frazzled and too nice, some backstabbing and cruel, and beyond career aspirations, diets and love dominated their actions. 

What do we make of these business role models now? What have they taught us about making it in a “man’s world?” Or about redefining success? Here at PGF, a woman owned and operated business, we’re going to take a look back at these fictional business women of our youth. It’ll be funny, it may be a little sad, it’ll be, well, complicated. Join us as we profile memorable 80s & 90s Biz Ladies.

First up: Rose Lindsey from Don't Tell Mom the Babysitter's Dead (1991)

Name: Rose Lindsey
Title: Senior Vice President of Operations, GAW Manufacturing
Memorable traits: extremely expressive eyes, breezy personality and happily oblivious nature
Signature style: buoyant red bob, thick & shimmery lipstick, coral skirt suit
Quote: "Whenever we're not alone or I'm on the phone and I ask you something, doesn't matter what it is, you always say: 'I'm right on top of that, Rose!'"
Love life: mega-sleeze co-worker, Gus Brandon—she's desperate for the relationship to get serious and completely blind to his creepy ways
Woes: her love life, aging, the New York office
Then: thought she was real kooky
Now: kinda relate to her desire to be blissfully unaware