When I was a kid I used to catch reruns of The Mary Tyler Moore Show. All I can really remember is that I liked the opening, especially the shot where Mary effortlessly tosses her hat in the air. I had long brown hair and wanted to envision myself being a success, just like her. My ambitions mirrored Mary’s in some ways—heading to a big city and having some important role at a company—even though I didn't know what it might be. The recent death of Mary Tyler Moore motivated me to revisit Mary Richards and her incredible smile to see what I was missing.
After watching a few episodes I was immediately struck by something. The issues of pay gap, struggling for a meaningful title, and perceived responsibilities were hot topics 40 years ago—and they still are today. At first I felt defeated. Mary was dealing with issues I still hear about from my fellow businesswomen and colleagues all the time. Why wasn’t there any progress?