Last night my girl pack and I had the pleasure of attending a screening of “Dream, Girl“, a documentary film that tells the stories of amazing entrepreneurs to inspire the next generation of leaders.
The premise for the film is that girls can’t become what they cannot see:
We know the names of Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, and Mark Zuckerberg. But what about the female entrepreneurs? What’s their story?
From brand new startups to million dollar industries, it’s time we stop telling girls they can be anything they want to be and show them what it means to be a leader.
It was inspiring, eye-opening and deeply moving.
The film tackled everything from the glass ceiling, challenging gender roles and social norms, crossing cultural barriers and highlighted the struggles that professional women are STILL facing today. We listened to the story of 10 very different entrepreneurs ranging from publishing, media, engineering, fashion, investors, social change and even an ice-cream start up! (mmm . . . ice cream)
These women are visionaries that will inspire you to dream in a whole new way.
The film made me realise just how far we as females have come, but yet again, sadly how far we still have to go.
But things are shifting, slowly. And it’s films like these that raise awareness, start conversations and empower women to step up that are helping advocate and champion females. The outrageous sexism and inequality that some of these women faced, and continue to face, is disgraceful. But they’re doing it anyway! One of the African designers interviewed said hilariously – “If you knock on the door and it doesn’t open, you break it down!”. It really highlighted the spirit and tenacity of these women, they just picked themselves up and got on with what they came to do.
That’s the thing, when your work drives you so strongly, these barriers don’t stop you. Nothing stops you.
What was beautiful is that these women all had their own style of leadership. They embraced ALL of themselves to define their own unique blend of what it means to be an entrepreneur. It seems, thank god, that gone are the days where women had to ‘be more like a man’ to make it in the corporate world. Instead, they are now drawing on both their male and feminine energies (men as well), embracing their whole selves, to be the best, most powerful version of themselves (and freakin killing it while they’re at it!).
The take-away? You don’t need to be more or less of anything. You have the perfect balance of energy within you right now, and all you have to do is embrace it. Embrace ALL of you, and watch yourself soar.
The stories were beautifully told, you really got a sense of who these women were and what they were about. I just wanted to invite all of them around to hang out in my lounge room and pick their brains! These are women you want to be around.
The ultimate lady posse.
Co founders of Dream Girl Komal Minhas & Erin Bagwell with the Big O (aka Oprah Winfrey)
We had an amazing panel discussion afterward with Jess Jones (Founder of the Soar Collective), Bridget Wood (c0-founder of Nourish The Mother and Suburban Sandcastles) and Madeleine Grummet (Co-founder of GirledWorld). The questions were firing, the answers were flowing, the energy was palpable in the room. Clearly everyone there was moved by the documentary and driven to continue the conversation.
The film for me highlighted the importance of support – from family, partners, friends, and from your group of colleagues/mentors that have your back no matter what. Acting in isolation rarely works. This support was integral to the success (and sanity!) of every single women interviewed.
It got me pondering the importance of having women to look up to, having women to guide and advise you. After all, girls can’t become what they can’t see. And we don’t know what we don’t know.
Do you have a mentor in your life?
I myself has never had an “official” mentor. But it’s definitely something that I believe would be priceless.
What was apparent from this film is that mentors happen organically. They are relationships that grow from mutual respect, open communication and a common vision.
So, want a mentor? Stop asking for one.
If you have to ask the question, the answer is probably no. When someone finds the right mentor, it is obvious. The question becomes a statement.
Having said that, I remember reading Sheryl Sandberg’s (CEO of Facebook) book a few years ago “Lean In” and she had some interesting comments around the field of mentoring:
While asking a stranger to be a mentor rarely, if ever, works, approaching a stranger with a pointed, well-thought out inquiry can yield results. . . The word ‘mentor’ never needs to be uttered. The relationship is more important than the label.
So who do you look up to?
Whose doing amazing things in your industry (or one that you’re drawn to move into)?
Who do you admire and why?
Whose work really speaks to you?
Start a short list of these people, and reach out. Shout them to lunch, invite them to share a coffee with you – ask them if you can pick their brains about their work, their life or their current project. (Just remember that most of these inspiring people are busy, so make sure you respect and value their time. Do your homework, make it worth their while.) Most often that not, they will be flattered that you asked. The ego is a powerful thing – after all, who doesn’t like talking about themselves right?! And most people are altruistic in nature, we innately want to do good and help people whenever we can.
You never know where one little phone call, or one email can lead. I know it’s scary, I get it. But it’s time to get over yourself, swallow the fear, and just do it. Start somewhere. Just start. I promise that once it’s done you will be so glad you contacted them, and magically the fear will have disappeared!
So dream girl.
The future is female, and it sure looks bright.
Want to see the documentary for yourself? If you can’t find a screening of the film in your area, why not host your own? Click here to get a screening started in your hood – every girl needs to see this.
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