Jane Fonda and her producing partner Bruce Gilbert had already spun issue-oriented storytelling into box office success with Coming Home and The China Syndrome when 9 to 5, their comedy about the plight of female office workers, went into production. It was named after a grassroots organization of women fighting for workplace equality and fair pay, and there was nothing funny about the statistics: There were 20 million female office workers in the American workforce of the 1970s, paid less than 60 cents to the male workers’ dollar, with six out of 100 making it into management ranks. The group 9to5 still exists, workplace parity remains a yet-to-be-achieved goal, and a century after the ERA was introduced, it has yet to become a constitutional amendment.
Still Working 9 to 5