Women in business is a topic near and dear to my heart, for obvious reasons, so you can imagine my excitement about Dream, Girl: a film all about showing what female leadership looks like. I caught up with Dream, Girl creator Erin to chat about her film, why lady bosses matter, and more. Read on for a mini interview and to learn how you can get involved!
Introduce yourself to us and tell us about Dream, Girl!
Hi! My name is Erin Bagwell and I am the Founder of Feminist Wednesday and the Executive Producer/Director of Dream, Girl. Dream, Girl is a documentary film redefining what it means to be a boss by telling the stories of female entrepreneurs and CEOs.
What inspired you to begin working on the Dream, Girl film?
About a year ago I started a feminist storytelling blog called Feminist Wednesday. Through the blog I was meeting so many amazing women and was particularly drawn to the stories of female entrepreneurs. There is an amazing startup community that is happening here in NYC and I was really impressed with the levels of support that women entrepreneurs are creating to start their own companies. I go to some really cool networking events, breakfast clubs, and happy hours that are all dedicated to spurring along the growth of female entrepreneurs. As a videographer, I felt really inspired to capture that on film.
Why do you think it’s important to have more women in business?
I think having more women at the top and running their own companies has an amazing trickle down effect for empowering the next generation of leaders. Women are 50% of the population but only run 22 of the Fortune 500 companies. That means that the majority of companies we buy from and messages we are consuming are driven by a male dominated perspective determining what women are supposed to want. This can be really harmful. Women should have the power to create and control their own image and put new products and perspectives out there that are more towards their likeness. I also think having so few examples of women in leadership is harmful because it makes women and girls feel like they shouldn’t be leaders.
As a woman, what kinds of opportunities or obstacles have you encountered in your film production?
When I was in college I used to participate in a lot of film festivals (I have been making movies since I was 16 years old). The first time I did the 48 Hour Film Festival in Buffalo I took my dad with me to the initial meeting. Everyone thought he was a director and I was an actress. I was the only female team lead out of about 10 teams that year. When you are the minority in a group you feel like you don’t belong and this can raise the pressure on you to “prove that you deserve to be there.” So naturally I had to work a lot harder than of my male counterparts to prove I belonged. But I think the hardest part about being a female entrepreneur (whether you are making a film or not) is getting funding. I sit in a lot of meetings/networking groups with female CEOs and there aren’t enough women investors to back and support their projects. It’s a lot harder for a male investor to get on board with an idea he might not connect with because the product and perspective is told through a feminine lense. There are so many brilliant women who are in the doldrums as far as investing goes. It’s a real goal of mine to be able to give back one day to new entrepreneurs.
What’s been your favorite part of Dream, Girl so far?
There have been so many awesome moments from the production so far: from interviewing some amazing CEOs, to getting to work with an awesome group of women to create the trailer, to feeling so much support from the feminist community who understands the need to produce it. I think the first day of the Kickstarter campaign was my favorite so far: I got to go on FOX Business wearing a Betty the Beaver (Feminist Wednesday’s mascot) pin to promote the film, met tons of amazing women at our launch party hosted by New York Tech Meetup and Control Group, and ended the evening with my best friends and crew at a Brooklyn diner eating chicken fingers and disco fries. I think any night that ends with chicken fingers is totally successful.
How can our readers get involved with Dream, Girl?
They can check out the official trailer here! And make sure to follow us on twitter for all the latest updates and behind the scenes information.