Maria Ashley's 'Pioneers in Skirts' is a must-see social impact film about ambition

Have you ever felt that stereotyping and sexism is chipping away at your pioneering ambition? You’re not alone. And it’s this gender inequality that the multi-award winning documentary Pioneers in Skirts aims to address. 

Looking at the obstacles that get in the way of ambition, the film addresses the stereotyping and sexism that can 'chip away at a woman', hurt her potential, and make her feel like she must re-think her dreams.

Simply being aware of bias isn’t enough

"Deliberate and unconscious bias not only makes it harder for a woman to get hired and promoted, its negative impact can chip away at her and make her feel like she must re-think her career trajectory. Being aware of bias isn’t enough. We all need to take action to #BreakTheBias," says director of Pioneers in Skirts, Ashley Maria.

An engaging examination of gender parity 

Pioneers in Skirts

Ashley Maria's feature documentary, Pioneers in Skirts offers an engaging examination of gender parity in our culture from the perspective of a female filmmaker who was frustrated with her own problems in the film industry.

According to the website, “Not finding many answers within her profession, she decides to expand her search to include other industries and society in general.”

Film Director Ashley Maria displays both perseverance and determination and not only shares her own story, but she follows the journey of three girls on a robotic team, their fathers, as well as a young mother – all while traveling the United States. Ashley also speaks to fellow pioneering women and topic experts who had solutions to share.

The film inspires about how we all can address the stereotyping and sexism that can chip away at women.

Supporting women and girls equality

Pioneers in Skirts documentary film

The film offers an insight into four major themes:

  • The best ways to support women and girls who struggle with unfair career-limiting obstacles and setbacks.
  • How each of us can be more aware of perpetuating bias and sexism in the culture we live, work, and learn in.
  • The approach we all can take to be better allies for our female friends, co-workers, and classmates.
  • What workplaces and co-workers can do to make the work environment more equitable and welcoming for all.

A more inclusive and equitable work culture

Ashley Maria, MFA is the Director and Producer of the film. She explains: “The challenges in my career transformed my career. Making a feature film about what can affect a woman’s ambition has allowed me to find my own purpose and shape who I want to be as a leader. The lessons learned have influenced how I run my set – always working towards creating a more inclusive and equitable work culture for myself and the crew that surrounds me.

“My hope is for the film to be utilized to help create a world where ambitious women and girls can pursue their careers without having to combat bias in their lives — and where companies will achieve diverse and inclusive work cultures. And, I hope those who watch the film, too, add ‘advocate for women and all marginalized groups’ to their personal and professional path.”

How to watch Pioneers in Skirts

If the film's topics resonate with you, get your friends together and enjoy a screening of Pioneers in Skirts.

Here are some ways to watch this very inspiring and provoking film.



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