Ashley and I were recently talking about the reactions we’re seeing from viewers who watch the film: women cry, men get emotional and call their wives. The psychological impact is real. And this week, as if agreeing with what we’re seeing, the Universe sent us a bit of cosmic kismet: an expert in the field of leadership development emailed us the following:

Dear Ashley and Lea-Ann,

One of the many things I love about the movie, Pioneers in Skirts, is that it creates the awareness for both women and men that rigid gender roles and biases are still a part of our lives and culture – and they truly affect us all. This film opens the doors for all of us (in all our roles: mothers, fathers, daughters, sons) to feel the impact of shattered dreams.

What I loved about the way that you tell this story is that instead of focusing on holding on to anger, Ashley tells the story with her own voice; inviting us to “increase our response-ability and decrease blame.”

Anger is often a necessary wake-up call. It can help us set healthy limits (if we don’t have to hold on to it to protect ourselves). 

Pioneers in Skirts calls us to become aware of the anger and pain — and encourages us to respond by creating the space to get real work done between us.

In the film we see boys and girls truly enjoy working together, with girls often taking charge and even winning in robotic challenges. They are great examples for adults!

Personally, I watched the film and found myself acknowledging there was still mourning to do over the lost chances to physically build things as a child. But I soon realized there is also celebrating to do for overcoming that rigid thinking of “girls don’t build things” and remember: in my thirties I built a bookcase to fit into a very tight place in my kitchen. Yay, me!

The story lets us connect with others. We see real people of all ages working to reject rigid roles, create new freedom and recover dreams for themselves, their children, and our world.

This is a gift! It ultimately allows us to connect with the feeling and longing for our birthright to be our full selves. And I can’t wait to see the movie included as part of D&I training and leadership coaching work!

To learn more about Hope I. Hills, Ph.D., BCC, check out her bio at the Circle Consulting Group. You can see her in the theatrical version of Pioneers in Skirts too! We respectfully, and lovingly, call her Dr. Hope 🙂

Dr. Hope Hills