CCG Proudly Supports “Pioneers In Skirts” Documentary Film


What Does It Take For Women To Succeed In The Workplace?

Director’s Statement

“Pioneers in Skirts” began when I directed a short historical film about the women’s organization, “Business & Professional Women” or BPW. The women in the film taught me how far working women have come over the last 100 years. I also noticed how much further we have yet to go.

Women in the past seemed to work together in advancing their careers. It was a surprise to me to realize that strong sense of camaraderie has been lost with time.

As a professional filmmaker in my twenties, I have seen firsthand the slowing pace in our journey toward equality in the workplace. I feel we are at a critical point and it’s time to make a change. We as working women still have a ways to go, and we must be empowered with information and tools, and we must do it together.

Thus, “Pioneers in Skirts” was born. I decided to create the documentary film to help add a light at the end of the tunnel. I plan for this film to empower. I want this film to inspire, motivate and encourage. The film features topic experts who have explored the reasons for the slowed pace toward gender equity. We speak to ‘pioneers’ from around the country who can help define and reveal ways for women to overcome and achieve.

We share the journeys of women who have made an impact in the workplace; from the women who have paved the way for today’s working woman, to the change-makers who have identified issues and aim to create change within our nation. We meet the influencers who are impacting and supporting our youth – our nations’ working women of tomorrow. And we meet unique young women who have taken charge of their future and established women daring to take a leap and change careers.

“Pioneers in Skirts” explores the generational divide and how cross-generational workplaces successfully work together. And finally we will answer, “How do we as working women continue to find our voices? How do we regain, and maintain, our forward momentum? What does it take for women to succeed in the workplace?”

Cinnabon-Kat-Cole-Ashley-Maria-2Ashley interviewing Kat Cole of Cinnabon

I am a part of the story too! My journey will help build and bring to life the story we tell.

“This is a film that will make people wake up!”

ASHLEY MARIAAshleyMaria-250x300Ashley Maria is a writer and director, with almost 10 years of experience in film and television production, ranging from television commercials to new media productions to full feature films. Her past films have won awards at highly acclaimed film festivals around the world. Her first student film, Friday Night Fright™, won her a Directors Guild of America Award. Ashley is a North Carolina native and graduate from UNC-Chapel Hill with an undergraduate degree in Media Production and Advertising. She attended the University of Southern California’s School of Cinematic Arts; graduating in 2012 with her Masters in Fine Arts.


Lea-Ann W. Berst has worked for some of the world’s most well-known consumer products and commercial enterprise companies, including IBM, Memorex Telex, Champion Products, and Marvel Comics Group. However, 10 years ago she launched a consulting firm and today her clients list includes all types of industries: technology, e-learning, retail, events management, health & wellness, Olympic, sustainability, and college preparatory schools. Lea-Ann is known for being a dynamic and outstanding leader with an established track record of significant accomplishments in business and community service. She is a recipient of the Triangle Business Journal’s Women in Business award.

Donations to help fund production costs may be sent to: