Tess, as we soon come to learn, is a dreamer, a bearer of high hopes; stuck oppressively in a sexist world. Determined as she is, Tess focuses on improving herself in an attempt to break free from her secretarial barriers and rise as an epitome of professional success. Meanwhile, her male co-workers see her as little more than a sex object and never seem to take her seriously. Treated little different from a harlot, she is sent over to official meetings which turn out to be a set-up for sex with dodgy assurances of advancement in her career. Her love interest doesn’t treat her any different, and is seen gifting her heaps of lingerie and never a present she “can actually wear outside of this apartment.” Where most would expect a woman of the time and situation to take the blows quietly and unquestionably as fate, our valiant heroine doesn’t take the matters laying down, and is fired for avenging the men who wronged her at work. Her headhunter, although exasperated, but decides to give her one last chance to maintain her employment in the organization.
At the time, for many it was rather revolutionary more so surprising to see an independent, self-sufficient woman fending for herself in the great-big; male dominated world. However, we are not to forget that Working Girl reflects the ideas of the second-wave feminist backlash movement by associating women’s work with sexual display. And regardless of how revolutionary, the film nonetheless spoke volumes about the United States as a society beckoning in the late of 1980’s. Moreover, the very fact that the film’s representation of a working woman was considered groundbreaking and revolutionary shows how the time’s society expected women to behave. The film addresses Tess’ lack of balance and the battle to both; be proficient and keep up her own pride. In some sense, it appeared like a contemporary Cinderella story-yet as opposed to following a lamentable young lady entrusted with servitude and solitude, the heroine discovers her feet in a glass shoe of fortunes and reforms herself, wowing everyone with her new potential while still getting her Prince Charming.