It’s amazing when, without even trying, your life continues to intertwine with people who make an impact on it.
I met Lauren McDonald years ago because our fathers work together, and I was immediately taken with her drive, enthusiasm, and energy.
Throughout the years she has reached out and asked for advice on various aspects of the entertainment industry and it’s amazing, but not surprising, that the project she is currently working on has such synergy with my current passion project, Project:Women. Lauren is a college student and joined the Pioneers In Skirts team in March as an intern. From what I see, and from what the lead producer, Lea-Ann W. Berst, has described “She is a true example of pioneering her career. She has stepped forward to handle a couple of projects that will teach her a lot for her future career as a publicist in the entertainment industry. I personally can’t wait to see how this learning experience with Pioneers in Skirts will benefit her career!”
I am so grateful that Lauren reached out to me to share about this project. Please support these incredible women and help them do what they do best, tell impactful and moving stories.
A Documentary Film about Women Who Want Careers
Pioneers in Skirts™ is a documentary film that’s having a Kickstarter – and here’s why you should care.
A recent Bain & Company survey revealed after just two years of working at their first job out of college, women begin to lose their aspiration and confidence. Both women and men start out equally confident about their ability to reach their career objectives, but, after two years in the workforce 34% of men are still aiming for the top, while only 16% of women are. What happens to women during those first two years? And why? The study shows that, over time, women’s aspiration levels drop more than 60% while men’s stay the same.
Pioneers in Skirts is more than a film, it is a societal commentary on gender bias in America. When completed in 2016, the film aims to advance the conversation about women in the workplace.
Director’s Guild of America winning Director, Ashley Maria is featured as the protagonist in this documentary in which she travels the United States speaking to women who want careers; their success and their struggles, and the people who advocate for them: employers, coworkers, mentors, and parents
Filming since 2013, Ashley takes an honest look at the solutions for women now, and for future generations. The film uses interviews, statistics and story-telling to discuss career obstacles women deal with, such as gender biases, stereotypes and wage discrepancy, in the American workforce.
It all began with Ashley Maria’s story
Soon after earning her MFA from The University of Southern California, Ashley noticed her ambitious spirit was beginning to hit a brick wall. In a recent interview on the Deirdre Breakenridge WomenWorldwide podcast, Ashley explained that when she first started to direct, people would tell her they have never worked on set for a woman before. While she wanted to be respected as a director and have her work speak for itself it seemed that more often than not she was being referred to as a “woman-director” rather than who she really was: a director.
Ashley shared, “I was referred to as a ‘hyphenate,’ and not as a professional filmmaker.”
Ashley could feel her confidence turn into doubt and insecurity, and her drive to dream big in her career chipping away. With a camera in hand, Ashley decided to find out why this was happening to her. She immediately learned she wasn’t the only twenty-something who felt that way…and it wasn’t just happening in the film industry.
Pioneers in Skirts is about solutions. It’s about shining an interrogation lamp on gender bias – of which women and men are both guilty of. It’s about change.
The makers of Pioneers in Skirts need your help to finish the documentary.
If you are a parent, would like to find out how you can advocate for women in the workplace, you are feeling your career is a struggle and a battle, or you’re thinking about re-entering the workforce, you will want to watch the Kickstarter video.
<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/136748022″>Pioneers in Skirts: Kickstarter Support Video</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/pioneersinskirts”>Pioneers in Skirts</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a>.</p>
All images courtesy of Pioneers in Skirts