Pioneers in Skirts is a film from a daughter-mother team dedicated to fast-tracking the cultural change we need in order to achieve gender parity in the workplace.

Ashley Maria
Ashley MariaDirector, Producer, Co-Writer
Ashley Maria is a movie director, writer, and sound engineer based in Los Angeles, CA.

Winner of the coveted Directors Guild of America (DGA) award, she was also featured by the DGA Women’s Steering Committee as a director who represents The Future of Women in Film and the Downtown Los Angeles Film Festival as Best New Director.

When she’s not running her own production, Ashley is a directing instructor at UCLA, and at AFI’s Young Women in Film program.

With years of studio and independent production experience under their belts, Ashley and her female colleagues started to notice they were consistently turned down for jobs because of being inexperienced “women-directors.”

That’s when Ashley picked up her camera to share her story; revealing the career obstacles she and many other women still have to deal with today.

Thanks to her journey making Pioneers in Skirts, Ashley was selected as a North American delegate to attend the United Nation’s Commission on the Status of Women – the principal global policy-making body dedicated exclusively to gender equality and the advancement of women.

Find out more about Ashley at, and her filmmaking credits by visiting her IMDb page.

Lea-Ann W. Berst
Lea-Ann W. BerstProducer, Co-Writer, Activation
Lea-Ann W. Berst is a Raleigh, NC-based producer, writer, and activation marketer.

She spent 17 years of her career in the corporate arena before transitioning to competitive positioning consulting for mid-to-large sized companies. When not in conference room, Lea-Ann produces social impact documentaries, contributes to non-profit boards, and guest lectures on the topic of marketing practice. She is a winner of several technical and leadership awards – including the Triangle Women in Business award and twice receiving the prestigious IBM Award of Excellence.

Lea-Ann entered her career at a time where she had to fight for many of her career achievements, but – was shocked to hear her daughter, Ashley, had to fight just as hard. With years of studio and independent production experience under their belts, Ashley and her female colleagues started to notice they were consistently turned down for jobs because of being inexperienced “women-directors.”

Years of championing Lea-Ann’s daughter to be and do anything she wanted – wasn’t working!

That’s when Lea-Ann and Ashley picked up their cameras to share Ashley’s story; revealing the career obstacles she and many other women still have to deal with today. Now that the film is being screened all over the globe, Lea-Ann is currently focused on building partnerships and tactics designed to deepen and advance the impact the film will have on our culture.

Find out more about Lea-Ann at, and her filmmaking credits by visiting her IMDb page.

A movie about pioneering ambition

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The Professionals Behind The Magic

Crystal Lentz
Crystal LentzEditor
Crystal is a television and feature film Editor. Her credits include the documentary series “The First 48” for A&E as well as several years on “Project Runway” and “Project Runway All Stars” for LIFETIME television.

A passionate advocate for equality, she was attracted by Ashley’s story and the remarkable journey taken during the film.

Check out a list of her credits on IMDb.

Jordan Balagot
Jordan BalagotMusic Composer
Jordan is a composer for film, television and new media in Los Angeles, CA. Her work has been featured in films including I Do, Killer Elite, and Cloud Atlas.

Jordan holds a B.M. in Composition from Oberlin Conservatory of Music and an M.F.A. in Music Composition for the Screen from Columbia College Chicago.

Check out a list of her credits on IMDb.

Brooke Butner
Brooke ButnerLegal Counsel
Brooke is a licensed attorney (TX and CA) and graduate of the Peter Stark Program at USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.

She has a strong understanding of the entertainment industry, studio management, distribution channels, financing structures, and producing for film, television, and new media.

Check out a list of her credits on IMDb.

Tom Bloczynski
Tom BloczynskiGraphic Designer
Tom is a motion graphics designer working in visual effects and graphics for the entertainment industry. He specializes in video, animation, web, coding, design, and illustration.

He loves pretty pictures and making a difference.

Find out more about Tom by visiting his website.

Suzette Cotto
Suzette CottoOutreach
Suzette is founder and CEO of Innovate Social Media.

She is a LinkedIn Influencer, blogger, web designer, social media and customer relationship management expert.

Find out more about Suzette by visiting her website.

Devon Kelley
Devon KelleySound Editor and Designer
Devon is a feature film Sound Editor based in the San Francisco Bay Area. Her credits include “Captain America: Civil War”, “Rogue One: A Star Wars Story”, “Ferdinand”, “Doctor Strange” and more.

As a young woman who is passionate about her career, Devon feels a personal connection to Ashley’s story.

Check out a list of her credits on IMDb.

TBDSound Mixer
Sound mixing is a post-production process that is performed in the final stages of a video production.

We currently have tracks of sound (dialogue, ADR, Foley, music) that we must layer on top of each other to create a feeling of sound with depth. This is called sound mixing.

Find out more about our Sound Mixer soon!

David Morelli
David MorelliOnline Assist
David is an Online / Assistant Editor who has worked on various television shows, documentaries and short films.

When he’s not solving technical issues or basking in the warm glow of a computer screen, David enjoys stepping outside and working on his photography.

Check out a list of his credits on IMDb.

TBDOnline Editor
Online editing is a post-production video editing process that is performed in the final stage of a video production.

Onlining is the process of conforming all the camera formats into one high resolution cut. When this process is completed, we can then add visual effects, lower third titles, and apply color correction.

Find out more about our Online Editor soon!

Tiffany Hope
Tiffany HopeEditor
Tiffany is an Editor for television and feature films, including 3 seasons of the top 10 ABC hit TV show “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” and multiple documentary series for Discovery, CNN and CNBC.

She also edited the critically acclaimed rock documentary “Anvil: The Story Of Anvil,” and was selected as one of the inaugural LA RocknRoll Camp For Girls music video editing instructors.

Check out a list of her credits on IMDb.

Rebecca Chan
Rebecca ChanSound Engineer
Rebecca is a Location Sound Mixer (20TH CENTURY WOMEN, BURNING DOG, GIRL FLU) who specializes in television, film and webseries.

Rebecca is also one of the few sound mixers in Hollywood who speaks fluent Chinese.

Check out a list of her credits on IMDb.

Liz Yarwood
Liz YarwoodCinematographer
Liz is a Cinematographer who shoots in a wide variety of film and digital formats, including 3D.

She’s also the Writer & Creator of the comedy webseries LA Picker!

Check out a list of her credits on IMDb.

Lauren Freedman
Lauren FreedmanEditor
Lauren is an Editor best known for her work with the NHL Network and Microsoft HoloLens.

A comedy enthusiast, Lauren has the sense of humor we need for this film. She joined our team to make a difference and impact real change for career-driven women. She and co-editor Angela work side by side in the editing room.

Check out a list of her credits on IMDb.

Pablo Vega
Pablo VegaMusic Supervisor, Composer
Pablo is a film and video game Composer and Sound Engineer from Durham, North Carolina.

Founder of The Workshop music studio, Pablo lends his talents to our film to guide all music-based film work efforts.

Find out more about Pablo by visiting his website at

Angela Juzswik
Angela JuzswikEditor
Angela is an Editor whose work is influenced by surrealism, music and cultures.

Angela jumped at the opportunity to join our team to be a part of the conversation of women’s equity. She brings her passion of visual driven pieces to this film and enjoys experimenting with editing styles. She and co-editor Lauren work side by side in the editing room.

Check out a list of her credits on IMDb.

Johnny DelToro
Johnny DelToroComposer
Johnny is a Composer and Arranger for vocal groups, documentaries, and indie movies. He received his B.A. in Music from Bucknell University.

His songs, arrangements, and productions have received many awards, as well as placement on multiple compilation albums.

Find out more about Johnny by visiting his bio at