No stranger to bias, Lea-Ann entered her career at a time where she had to fight for many of her career achievements. Like many women, she assumed her struggles made it easier for younger women entering the workforce. But during a heart-felt conversation on a drive to the beach, her daughter Ashley revealed bias was alive and well, and eroding Ashley’s ambition.
This revelation led them both on a journey to get answers around what Ashley and her colleagues were experiencing. After seeing the data around current stereotyping and sexism, Ashley and Lea-Ann decided to pause their careers, pick up a camera and produce their documentary.
Event Introduction Biographies:
Pioneers in Skirts director – Ashley Maria, is a DGA award-winning director, writer, and producer. She’s known for creating both comedy and horror films as well as content that addresses pressing social issues, especially gender equality. Based in Los Angeles, CA., Ashley hails from the Tar Heel state of North Carolina. She received her undergrad degree from UNC-Chapel Hill and her Master’s in Fine Arts (MFA) from the USC School of Cinematic Arts – in California.
Pioneers in Skirts producer – Lea-Ann W. Berst, is a filmmaker and global activation professional based in Raleigh, NC. Lea-Ann is known for her work as a writer and producer of documentaries focused on cultural change. Lea-Ann is a graduate of SUNY Oswego and SUNY Canton. Her career spans from Product Management to Brand Activation in the tech industry, and now Impact Producing & Outreach Activation for documentary films. She has been producing documentaries since 2009.
Fun fact, Ashley and Lea-Ann are daughter and mother!
Long Biographies for Ashley and Lea-Ann:
Directed by Ashley Maria
Produced by Lea-Ann W. Berst, Ashley Maria
Sound Edit by Amy Reynolds Reed
Composed by Alana Balagot
Production Sound by Rebecca Chan
Cinematography by Elizabeth Yarwood
Written by Lea-Ann W. Berst, Ashley Maria
Graphic Design by Tom Bloczynski
Movie Theme Song “Freeway” by Mia Yara
(Listen to it on our Spotify playlist!)