Back in 2012, we began investigating why a woman’s ambition plummets soon after she begins her career. What did we find out? Women face more of an uphill battle in their careers vs men — and, as soon as 2 years out of college, the battle will slowly chip away at their drive to succeed.

Realizing this is something that’s been going on far too long, we decided to make an investigative documentary to help young women realize they aren’t immune to what they watched their mothers endure. We set out to make a film that will empower today’s woman to “pioneer” on her own, men to advocate, and organizations to wake up and take action.

A Pioneer is a woman who owns her career success by challenging the bias she encounters along her career path and paves the way for the next generation to truly be whatever they want to be. 

We also feel a Pioneer is also an employer or elected official who challenges outdated policy and law, and a man who is dedicated to being an advocate for women in the workplace.

Why “Skirts”?

Well, that was inspired by a 1950’s photo Ashley saw when she toured the Business and Professional Women’s Club of North Carolina state headquarters.

groundbreaking BPWNC

Ashley was struck by the fact that the women in the picture seemed to not let the assumptions of the day (for women to be expected to wear dresses and skirts, hats and gloves into the woods) prevent them from grabbing a shovel and breaking ground.

These Pioneers fought and won many battles for the next generation —

Pioneers in Skirts wants to honor them, and recognize that without them women today wouldn’t have the opportunities we have.

I'm A Pioneer

The Next Wave

Today there is a new Pioneer. Confronted by the fact she is not immune to bias, she has taken up yesterday’s baton. She’s learning the history of those who paved her way, she’s finding and working with allies, and developing new methods and collaborative approaches to confront the sexism and bias she encounters.

Pioneers in Skirts is a film that will feed into the next wave of feminism.  Our aim is to empower every Pioneer to grab her and his own shovel and continue to break ground.