“We’ve spent decades trying to fit women into a work world built for company men.”
Pioneers in Skirts is a social impact documentary addressing the gender-bias and sexism that can chip away at a woman, hurt her potential, and make her feel like she must re-think her dreams.
Ashley grew up in a world where girls are taught to be powerful. They’re told, “If you dream it, you can be it,” and are encouraged to spend their teens working towards those dreams.
But, what happens when these dreamers grow up?
Ashley grabbed her camera to share her story; revealing the career obstacles women face, what realistically can be done about them, and how we all can play a role in dramatically changing the outcome for the next generation.
Many women battle a bias that is eroding their ambition. Mountains of research (study after study…after study) reveal women start out their careers with more ambition than men, but as soon as 2 years out of college women’s confidence and ambition plummets by over 50%. This phenomenon affects women across professions and has experts guessing as to what to do. One of those studies:
In the film, Ashley explores topics like: unconscious bias, stereotype threat, unfair perceptions, the importance of a girl’s middle school years, work-life flexibility and much more.
The most impactful answer she receives:
“You can’t go to an underrepresented group and say, just fix yourself. Women aren’t broken,” Lucy Sanders, CEO National Center for Women & Information Technology.
Not only does Ashley learn that our work culture has a long way to go before becoming bias-free, she sees that now is the time to act. It’s time for all of us to be participants – and no longer stand by on the sidelines.
Spoiler alert! In the end, Ashley figures out what she must do to get her ambitious “I can do anything” attitude back.
Pioneers in Skirts is a film for the individual who wants to pioneer her own path. It’s for the parents who want their girls (boys) to grow up without having to experience the obstacles women are seeing today. It’s also for the women and men who are shocked at what they’ve been seeing and want to know how they can make a difference.
CLICK HERE to see how individuals and businesses can help us finish the movie and get it seen!
Who’s in the film?
With their participation in the film, we see how women and men can instigate change early on for the next generation of pioneering women.
- Ashley’s friends Asha Dahya; Brea Grant; Jess Blaise; Jenn Duong; Bridget Stokes; and Mindy Bledsoe.
- We followed middle school girls and a new mom for three years.
- Professional women with experiences and advice to share — women like UNC Chapel Hill’s Women’s Basketball Coach, Sylvia Hatchell; Focus Brands Group President, Kat Cole; MOZ CEO, Sarah Bird; Major General Heidi V. Brown; executive, Nicole Jefferies; Charlotte Robotics Executive Director, Lia Schwinghammer; and famed film and television actor/director Joan Darling. Sarah Bird helped us learn more about what women at the top experience when she invited her friends for a candid on-camera conversation with Ashley too — Jane Park, CEO Julep; Michelle Goldberg, VC at Ignition Partners; Emily Rollins, Partner at Deloitte & Touche; and Liz Pearce, CRO Streem.
- Men who want to make a difference – men like NCWIT’s Co-Founder Brad Feld, television icon Norman Lear, and the fathers of the girls we follow in the film.
- Advocacy organizations like NCWIT, AAUW and NWHM, and a company globally recognize for their workplace culture – SAS.
- To make sure we accurately depict what is really happening to a woman when her ambition plummets, we filmed behind-closed-door sessions with renowned leadership psychologist Dr. Hope Hills.
Follow our journey as we make Pioneers in Skirts