If you ‘re not familiar with Suits, congratulations! The first 8 seasons, and the currently airing 9th season, are on Netflix. What are you waiting for?
Suits doesn’t struggle for strong characters, but Jessica Pearson- head of Pearson Hardman (and all its other names) is the character that all women should aspire to be. Why? I’ll try to answer without too many spoilers.
She owns her successes
She graduated second from her class at Harvard and runs the best (if slightly problematic) law firm in New York, and she isn’t afraid to use that intelligence and power. She doesn’t shrink in a deposition if she is the only woman in the room, doesn’t date anyone who doesn’t respect her position and all the responsibilities it comes with, and she certainly doesn’t take kindly to her old bosses hiring her for diversity rather than her considerable skillset. She litigates in court, stops half the firm from going to jail on a regular basis and still find time to eat at the best restaurants in the city, simply because she worked hard for it .
She’s not a Mary-Sue
Yes, she spends her days wearing $2000 dresses and Louboutins, but she is a multi-dimensional woman. She has a questionable work life balance (and she knows it), occasionally plays favourites with her employees, and has been known to smoke in the firm’s office from time to time. She is never portrayed as perfect, all knowing or all seeing, but when she saves your ass or shuts down your nonsense, you better believe her word is final. In short, Jessica gives us permission to be complicated, flawed and challenging human beings.
Emotions are not the enemy
Leadership can be a lonely road, especially when being assertive can earn you a ‘bitch’ label and too open labelled as ‘weak.’ She knows when to keep her guard up or when to let in her closest allies in without shouting her problems to the rooftops. Best of all: she knows how to work with them to make them work in her favour- and the opposite side never see it coming.
In the age of social media, where everybody’s lives and achievements always look and sound so much better than our own, we could do worse than taking a page from Jessica Pearson’s book. As the lovely ladies Yomi Adegoke and Elizabeth Uviebinené say: ‘Slay in Your Lane’