Writer Lauren Windle laments the pitiful depiction of women in business in 2023’s series of The Apprentice and explains in what ways God is a far better boss than Lord Sugar.
I always watch The Apprentice. I started watching it with my dad when I was a teenager living at home and have carried on the tradition into adulthood. Initially, it was a collection of sharp-minded individuals from a range of backgrounds, all looking for the opportunity to work for tycoon Lord Sugar. These days though, the cohort is far more reality TV contestant vibes than Chairman of the board.
The credibility of the contestants in 2023’s series felt like it was wearing paper-thin in the first episode - which aired on Thursday, January 5. As always with the series, the group was divided into teams of men and women and sent off to complete a task. They were asked to create a fun tour and sell tickets for the excursion. Watching the women’s group with agonising as they passive aggressively corrected each other and pushed for plausible deniability should their team fail. There was no cohesion, no kindness, no generosity and support, just a series of individual human fortresses that should be protected at all costs.
What message are we sending to the world about women in business with this petty display?
I know it’s a TV show, and don’t get me wrong, it was great TV. But what message are we sending to the world about women in business with this petty display? Nothing good that’s for sure. In yesterday’s episode - the second in the series - the women were sent to create a Bao bun that they then sold to various punters. But the depiction of their collective mathematical skills was woeful and resulted in them ordering a sixth of the key ingredient they needed.
I have spent a lot of time with women in business, I am one myself. And they are competent and compassionate and razor sharp - so where are those women in this series? Watching as a Christian, I also couldn’t help but feel sad for the lack of cohesion. It’s like the corporate world believes the lie that success is on a seesaw, as one rises another must fall. But God’s message is that we rise together, when we support each other, we all grow in “success” - whatever that looks like in our lives. There really is space for us all to grow in our unique calling and gifting.
Women in business are competent and compassionate and razor sharp - so where are those women in this series?
Lord Sugar pits us against each other - God says there’s room for everyone. Lord Sugar applies high pressure - God says you can have my peace. Lord Sugar doesn’t offer training - God says I will equip you for your challenges. Lord Sugar sends people off for success or failure - God goes with you. Ultimately, God’s is the only business I’m interested in.