There’s a special place in hell for women who don’t help other women.
What Madeleine Albright forgot to mention in her famous quote is that there is also a special section reserved in heaven for women who champion other women – like Erin Bagwell.
The daring entrepreneur and filmmaker cares deeply about her fellow women.
Her film Dream, Girl is a phenomenal expose into the treatment of women in our society.
Since trading in the corporate life for filmmaking, it’s been an incredible ride for Erin. Not only has she created a company with an all female film crew, an online platform for modern women that made its way to the White House, she also made an impression on Oprah Winfrey and was featured on #SuperSoul100. She even met the global icon.
“So we were at the O Studios and we had all these beautiful long tables. Itt was gorgeous, there was champagne,” Erin recalls of her experience.
“We were all taking our seats and Oprah comes into the room and everyone’s eyes are glued to her, like a fairy kind of floating, and I have a sleeve of tattoos on my arm, and she came over to my table, and she b-lined for me…
“She grabbed my arm and was like, ‘oh my god, what are these, girl?’ and most of the women in the room were like older spiritual teachers and none of them had tattoos so I stood out.
“And I kind of blacked out, I don’t even remember what I said to her, I just remember her touching my arm.”
Erin credits her take-no-prisoners attitude to her assertive mother.
“I feel like my entrepreneurial journey was 25 years in the making,” Erin says. “My mom was a major influence in my life… she knew what she wanted.”
Erin began her career in the advertising industry working with start-ups. This, she says, was formative in her early career.
“I really loved being in advertising,” she says in an interview with HER magazine. “I really saw what start-up life was like.”
Erin says the job taught her a lot of lessons about company culture.
“I think it’s really important when you’re a young person to understand that you can create your own company culture,” she says.
Before long, Erin went from start-up life to landing in corporate. She says the company was behind the times and during her tenure, she was sexually harassed – an issue Erin explored in her film.
Erin found out she was being paid half of what her manager was making, but was doing his work, managing his team.
One night as she was walking home from the Barclays Centre with her husband; she began crying about how much she hated her 9 to 5 with such an archaic company.
At the time – she was working on her blog, Feminist Wednesday, but working on it as a side hustle was not satisfying her.
That night – almost in an instant – she decided to quit her job and launch herself into the unknown. Sitting in her living room, the newly unemployed Erin had one of those elusive “a-ha” moments.
A documentary about female entrepreneurs. And so Dream, Girl was born.