These TV Shows are Fighting Sexism in the Workplace

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Even with the start of the new year 2020, we're still hauling around the baggage of sexism into the workplace. Heck, sexism in any capacity, even beyond the workplace!

Women continue fighting for equal pay, a place in politics, and a moment when men aren't seen as superior and more capable simply because of their gender. 

It's apparent that this battle is still relevant as many current network TV shows are pushing representation all across the board for this should-be outdated norm. 

Midge on stage - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Here's our list of TV shows putting in the good fight!  

A Million Little Things

Katherine holding Theo's work - A Million Little Things

Katherine Saville in A Million Little Things represents the trouble in balancing motherhood and a demanding career. 

During her divorce with Eddie, she gets involved with her coworker Hunter, but their relationship quickly dissipates after Hunter takes the job opportunity she turned down after the firm denied her request to take off evenings to spend time with her son Theo.

And yet again, a man receives a job over a working mother, highlighting the anti-mom bias in the workplace. 


Dre and his office - black-ish

Any scene of Dre and his coworkers in the conference room at Stevens & Lido is so exaggerated and full of male chauvinism and sexist remarks it's almost laughable. 

As a comedy, Black-ish uses outrageous scenarios to tell its stories and call attention to the tribulations of our times. Typically, racial oppression is at the forefront of its messaging, but sexism tends to be a large theme. 

Bow's hard work as a successful doctor doesn't go without trouble as she still has to fight for her accomplishments to be seen by other doctors who might mistake her for a nurse. 

Good Trouble

Mariana and Raj - Good Trouble

Mariana's struggle as one of the few female software engineers in a man's world is telling of the current male-dominated culture in the field of engineering. 

She's always working twice as hard as her male team members to gain recognition, let alone survive at Speckulate, and as she later learned she was hired to meet a certain "diversity" quota. 

The biggest scandal she found herself at the center of was leaking the salaries of the men in an attempt to expose the disparity of pay between genders. 

She risked her job and reputation to fight for something she believes in. 

Grey's Anatomy

Arriving for the Chaos - Tall  - Grey's Anatomy Season 16 Episode 10

As a show known to address many social justice issues, Grey's Anatomy hasn't shied away from addressing sexism in the workplace. Here are a few of the best:

Remember the custody battle between Callie and Arizona, and one of the arguments used against Arizona was the unpredictability of her work hours? And Bailey shot back with an all too familiar "Would you ask that if she was a man?"

Cristina constantly reminded us she would much rather be complimented on her brains as a surgeon than her beauty.

And one of the biggest moments came from Grey's Anatomy Season 1 Episode 4 when Izzie stripped down and defended her modeling career as the thing that put her through med school. 


Wendy Carr

According to an interesting article in New Republic, Mindhunter takes a look at toxic masculinity as the troublesome base of society.

Instead of focusing on class or race, Holden and Bill predominantly research serial killers who feel women have ruined their lives in some way and are the reason they began killing.

Wendy Carr's abilities are demeaned throughout the show as Ford is always taking the lead and she's left to follow the men around. As the show is set in the 1970s, the sexist work environment is supposed to be realistic of the times. 


Alicia at law - mixed-ish Season 1 Episode 2

Similar to its sequel, Mixed-ish takes on the representation of a woman of color in an all-male work environment.

Alicia is always defending her academic achievement from UC Berekely, while also working tirelessly to avoid others perceiving her hiring as a result of affirmative action.

The family's original life on the commune kept them in a bubble away from the sexism and racism of the world.

However, once the commune got raided, they were forced to undertake the harsh realities of the mid-1980s.

The Bold Type


The entirety of the show focuses on a feminist workplace and the women who act as the pillars of Scarlet. 

However, this directly leaves room for sexism in the workplace to shine through. Exhibit A, the entire board of directors presiding over Scarlet is a room solely comprised of men. 

Scarlet, being a women's magazine, should have at least one woman on the board, but this accurately represents many current boards of directors. 

The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Midge on stage - The Marvelous Mrs. Maisel

Midge Maisel's journey from housewife to a liberated female comic in the 1950s strongly shuts down the patriarchal standards of the era.

She successfully wows crowds with her quick-witted and sometimes crude humor and begins making a name for herself in the field of comedy. 

Many times she's mistaken for a singer, but immediately shows that standards are made to be broken. 


Liza and Kelsey  - Younger

Younger's emphasis on ageism, as its name suggests, additionally emphasizes the gendered paradigm in the corporate world. 

Liza put her career on hold to raise her daughter, and once she was ready to re-enter the workforce, she realized the only successful way to make it was to lie about her age. 

This showcases the unfair scrutiny women receive once they're ready to return to work following a gap in employment. The mommy-gap bias is a real phenomenon and unfairly affects many mothers who had to pause their career to raise a child. 

Once Liza's secret was discovered, she received a lot of backlash in response. Women are taught younger is better, especially in the workforce, but this is a sexist ideal that needs to end. 

Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist

Zoey, Leif, and Tobin - Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 1

In this new TV musical, Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist tells the story of a female coder, mimicking the narrative of Good Trouble.

Similarly, Zoey finds herself under the employment of a kickass woman boss, but among a team of all men. 

Men, who, unfortunately, are always making microaggressive and sexist comments and constantly questioning her ability as a team leader and the promotion she received on Zoey's Extraordinary Playlist Season 1 Episode 1

Traditionally overpopulated with men, the field of engineering finally sees growth with women in STEM and it's good to see this represented in newer TV shows geared toward younger demographics. 

Inga Parkel was a staff writer for TV Fanatic. She left the organization in June 2020.

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