I was watching Oprah recently and she had on former Saturday Night Live comics including Tina Fey and Jane Curtin. What I thought was so interesting is how they described being a woman working on SNL.
Now before I go any farther, I know that Boomer women knocked down doors for Xer women like me. Yet, as a 40-year-old Xer woman, I can tell you that there is often this sense from Boomer women that they knocked the doors down and we had a lovely stroll down career lane.
It’s simply not true.
What struck me as interesting on Oprah was the way Curtin discussed being a woman on the show and her words were all about struggle and clawing and going head-to-head with the man. Fey, however, said that she and her other female writers and comics basically wrote for the other women in the room and that’s where skits like the Maya Rudolph’s Oprah sketches originated. Interestingly, the result was comedy that was appealing to both men and women - it just happened that there were enough women laughing in the writers' room to get the skits approved to go on air.
I think that’s the major thing Xer women have brought to the table in terms of career success – throwing like a girl. What I mean is not trying to compete like a guy. I didn’t say we don’t compete. I’m just saying that Xer women don’t necessarily think you need to act like a guy to get ahead. What Tina Fey’s crew of comediennes did at SNL was help each other out.
So, ladies, next time you walking into your job, you can thank a Boomer for getting the door open for you – but you can think an Xer that you no longer have to wear a red power suit with 80-pound should pads to walk through.