May 03, 2023 12:15 PM EST - May 03, 2023 01:00 PM EST

Using the Power of Film to Encourage an Honest Dialogue about Ambition & Careers

The mother-daughter filmmaking team of Lea-Ann W. Berst and Ashley Maria will tell you about their documentary, Pioneers in Skirts – an inspiring film that uses humor and relatable storytelling to show how to address the stereotyping and sexism that can chip away at a woman, limit her potential, and make her feel like she must rethink her dreams. In the film, Director Ashley Maria shares her true story of starting out her career in film and quickly feeling disheartened and frustrated with what she was experiencing. Just 2 years after starting her career, Ashley was beginning to feel burned out. The career she had dreamed of seemed to be so far away.

ALL students and educators are invited to join us for this presentation to hear…

Why Ashley & Lea-Ann felt they had to make this film, How the film has become a catalyst for honest and meaningful conversations at schools around the world, and The lessons teachers have learned when screening the film in front of students — what worked for them, what didn’t, and what they would do differently in the future.

Lea-Ann W. Berst

Lea-Ann W. Berst is an Emmy-nominated filmmaker and global activation professional based in Raleigh, NC. She’s known for her work as a writer and producer of documentaries focused on cultural change. When not on set, she is focused on building partnerships and tactics designed to deepen and advance the positive impact a film can have on our culture. Leading the Pioneers in Skirts impact campaign, Lea-Ann works to maximize the film’s reach and help screening hosts use it to achieve gender equity in all areas of life. Lea-Ann is the daughter of a military officer who kick-started her dream to travel the world. She earned her Associates and Bachelor’s degrees from the State University of New York in Canton and in Oswego, New York.


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