14 Fictional Female Bosses We'd Actually Love To Work For

Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
In The Intern, Anne Hathaway stars as the head of a fashion website, nine years after she played a fledgling assistant at a fashion magazine in The Devil Wears Prada. In the boss' stylish shoes, her Jules Ostin isn't the kind of ruthless woman who'd be compared to the Lord of Darkness.

We can only hope she is part of a continuing trend of fictional female leaders gracing our screens and books — characters who aren't ice-cold tyrants, weeping messes, or some other equally annoying cliché, but rather real women who have risen to the top of their careers and can actually manage others beneath them. Jules has plenty of predecessors, many of whom we have daydreamed of working for, even if it would mean going on frequent coffee runs or covering up an accidental murder or two. When we see these ladies, we feel more confident about one day kicking ass on our own professional turf. We like to be called the boss, not bossy.

Here, we honor the Liz Lemons and Mindy Lahiris as well as the Miranda Priestlys and Daenerys Targaryens. Hey, serving a fearless and fearsome lady may be hard, but it has its perks. Where do we submit our résumés?
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Princess Leia (Carrie Fisher)
Star Wars (1977)
What? You forgot that the wearer of side buns (and later, the metal bikini) is also a fierce leader? Leia starts out as an Imperial Senator and one of the Rebel Alliance's power players. Though we don't exactly know how she treats her staff, we can tell that she's a quick thinker (hiding the Death Star plans in that little droid) and always willing to put herself in the line of fire. Besides, she's not afraid of Vader or his Stormtroopers. Bad. Ass.
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Detective Chief Inspector Jane Tennison (Helen Mirren)
Prime Suspect (1991 – 2006)
As one of the only DCIs in the Metropolitan Police, and presumably one of few female detectives in the department, Tennison knows she's got to be twice as good as her peers. She also never loses sight of what her job means: catching the bad guys. Let's be serious, though: If we had any doubts about our law enforcement skills, we would not want to work for such a chief. She'd have our arse.
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M (Judi Dench)
James Bond films from 1995 (Golden Eye) – 2012 (Skyfall)
The head of MI6 has a reputation for relying on statistics, rather than on instinct like her agents, and that's what makes for a balanced team. As much as she tries to rein in James Bond, she also trusts him. A level-headed leader who knows where her team's talents lie? That's a recipe for a functional (if deadly) workplace!
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Photo: Courtesy of ABC.
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Dr. Mindy Lahiri
(Mindy Kaling)
The Mindy Project (2012 – present)
Sure, Mindy's personal life appears to take up 90% of the workday, but she's also down to get involved in her employees' personal lives. And besides, when it comes to doctoring, she knows what's up.
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Professor McGonagall (Maggie Smith)
The Harry Potter films (2001 – 2011)
She's a powerful witch, a respected teacher of transfiguration, and a very fair — if strict — leader of Gryffindor, with a bit of dry wit just when you need it. When the school is taken over by enemies, she sticks around to protect her students and even goes into battle with them. She eventually takes her rightful place as headmistress of Hogwarts, and we are so ready to get our teaching degrees to work under her.
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Prime Minister Harriet Jones (Penelope Wilton)
Doctor Who (2005 – 2008)
The mild-mannered, small-time member of Parliament rises to the occasion when London is invaded by a body-snatching alien, and by the time that episode is over, we're not at all surprised to learn that she goes on to become Prime Minister. She turns out to be quite the fearless leader with a vision for her country, now that they know there's other life out there. We'd gladly sign up to protect the Earth with this no-nonsense lady at the helm.
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Miranda Priestly (Meryl Streep)
The Devil Wears Prada (2006)
You think we're crazy for including a boss who is literally called "the devil"? Well, we're not recommending a lifelong tenure as her assistant. That could put a person in the rubber room. But punishing as it may be, working for Priestly means learning everything about the business of fashion in a single year. You have no choice but to excel. And when she gives you a glowing recommendation for your dream job, you might find that sacrificing your life for 12 months is a small price to pay in the long run. Also, Paris Fashion Week, people.
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Photo: Courtesy of NBC.
Tami Taylor (Connie Britton)
Friday Night Lights (2006 – 2011)
Though the guidance counselor (and wife to coach Taylor) faces some daunting uphill battles when she takes over as principal of Dillon High, she cares more about her students than anyone who's ever had that role before her. In a town where football rules, she wants to put academics first. Again, this is the kind of leader who makes us want a teaching degree. We'd probably even screw up a couple of times just to get one of her one-on-one lectures.
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Image: Courtesy of ABC.
Liz Lemon (Tina Fey)
30 Rock (2006 – 2013)
You know how sometimes you have a boss who's a workaholic and yet somehow maintains a decent personal life outside the office, so she doesn't understand why you can't, too? Liz is not one of those bosses. The TGS head writer loves her job so much, she forgets to eat, sometimes forgets her own birthday, and lets her personal life remain in shambles. But as much as she wants her show to be good and her employees to follow her lead, we get the feeling she would also be super understanding about our need for a mental health day once in a while.
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Joan Holloway (Christina Hendricks)
Mad Men (2007 – 2015)
The Sterling Cooper office manager turned Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce partner has zero patience for whiny secretaries or lazy ad men. So, everyone stands a little straighter in her presence. If she thinks you're worth it, though, she is one of those leaders who will take you aside and teach you what you need to know to get things done right. In such a sexist business, mentors like her are priceless. And, oh, the stories she'd spill over cocktails.
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Diane Lockhart (Christine Baranski)
The Good Wife (2009 – present)
As one of the founding partners of her law firm, Lockhart is so much of what we rarely see in a fictional female boss: She's rational and calm when shit hits the fan, and she doesn't let her emotions get in the way of good decision-making. Working for her would kind of be the opposite of working for Annalise Keating, we suppose. We'd show up for work every day just to watch her give an opponent one her death stares.
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Leslie Knope (Amy Poehler)
Parks and Recreation (2009 – 2015)
She may start out as the mere deputy director of the Pawnee City parks and rec department, but she takes that job as seriously as she would if she were leader of the free world (and she may even end up with that title, too). It might be hard to match her level of enthusiasm for the job, but it would also be impossible not to be inspired by it, even when her good-hearted efforts fail.
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Daenerys Targaryen (Emilia Clarke)
Game of Thrones (2011 – present)
For the descendant of a family of insane, inbred tyrants, Dany is a fair and compassionate ruler. She has the iron will that befits her heritage, but also a kind heart that moves her to do crazy things, like free a country full of slaves and rain dragon fire on their masters. She makes mistakes, too, because isn't she, like, still a teenager or something? But if she's got the chops to train freaking dragons, we would be happy to call her Khaleesi.
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Image: Via bustle.com.
Olivia Pope (Kerry Washington)
Scandal (2012 – present)
The fearsome fixer knows her employees are her real family (with parents like hers, who can blame her?). She expects a lot out of them — round-the-clock hours, unparalleled hacking skills, occasional violence, the ability to deliver a speech in her same rapid-fire cadence — but, in return, she will protect them with her life. Her motives are almost always pure and good, to the extent that everyone who works for her tries to follow her lead. Working for her might also be a good ticket to a gig at the White House.
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Annalise Keating (Viola Davis)
How to Get Away With Murder (2014 – present)
In addition to the grueling work of law school, professor Keating's top students devote their every waking hour to defending some pretty suspicious characters. When her messy, failed marriage also becomes part of the job, her underlings get their hands dirty (read: bloody) in the field. Who's up for burying a body? Hear us out: If you can make it through a couple of semesters under Keating, making partner at a big law firm is going to seem like a cake walk.