Rachel Feldman on Lilly Ledbetter

“SHE opened the door for you, for me, for every American citizen.”

Meet Lilly Ledbetter, namesake of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2009, fair pay activist, grandma, and ICON. Born Lilly McDaniel in Alabama in 1938, she excelled in school and was a natural leader as she progressed through her career. After 19 years as a supervisor with Goodyear Tire & Rubber Co, Ledbetter received an anonymous tip that would change her life. She learned that despite performing the same job as her mail counterparts, she was being paid thousands less than them, and had been for the duration of her career. She filed a sex-discrimination case against Goodyear that made its way to the United States Supreme Court. Though she eventually lost in court and received no compensation, she went on to lobby congress to pass groundbreaking legislation protecting all workers against pay discrimination. This historic win for workers rights was the first piece of legislation signed into law by President Obama. Director Rachel Feldman shares this story with us as she completes work on her own feature film based on Ledbetter’s life.
Our storytellers share these astonishing women with us conversationally and unscripted; we fact-check afterwards and note any major discrepancies for accuracy.


Rachel Feldman

Rachel Feldman is a film and television director / writer who recently wrapped production on LILLY, a political drama starring Patricia Clarkson, John Benjamin Hickey, and Thomas Sadoski based on the remarkable life of fair pay activist Lilly Ledbetter.

Feldman has written and directed episodes, pilots and movies for MGM, CBS, NBC, ABC, Lifetime, Freeform, Entertainment One, and the SYFY Channel.
Recent directing credits include multiple episodes of BLUE BLOODS, THE ROOKIE, CRIMINAL MINDS and the pilot and first season of MGM’s THE BAXTERS. Her script KINKS won the Screencraft Best Pilot prize, was chosen as a WGA Best Spec Pilot, and was the US selection for Breaking Through The Lens at Cannes.

Feldman is former chair of the DGA Women’s Steering Committee and has been interviewed in docs: This Changes Everything produced by Geena Davis, Half The Picture, and Bloomberg TV’s Celluloid Ceilings regarding gender equity in Hollywood. After graduating from Sarah Lawrence College, she earned an MFA in directing from NYU. Feldman has taught directing and screenwriting at the USC School of Cinematic Arts MFA program and at Loyola Marymount.

Rachel is married to her college boyfriend, together they have two magnificent adult children, and recently became grandparents.

Full credits and reels @ www.rachelfeldman.com
Follow her on Twitter @WomenCallAction

Featured Woman

Lilly Ledbetter

Lilly Ledbetter served as a manager at the Goodyear Tire and Rubber Co. plant in Gadsden, Alabama, for nineteen plus years, where she received the top performance award and was one of four area managers, and the only woman, selected to initiate the light truck production at the Gadsden Plant. After learning, over the course of her career, that she had been paid significantly less than her male colleagues, Ms. Ledbetter filed a complaint with the Equal Employment Opportunities Commission. In 2007, Ms. Ledbetter’s legal battle came to an end with the Supreme Court’s ruling in Ledbetter v. Goodyear, which overturned her original jury award on a statute of limitations basis.

Although she saw no monetary awards for her fight against pay discrimination, her story led to the introduction of the Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act of 2007, which passed the House and Senate in January 2009. The Lilly Ledbetter Fair Pay Act was the first bill signed by President Obama. Ms. Ledbetter testified before Congress in support of the legislation and continues to be an advocate for pay equity.

Prior to her tenure at Goodyear, Ms. Ledbetter worked as a District Manager for H & R Block, Inc. and as an assistant Financial Aid Director at Jacksonville State University. She was the first female president of the Anniston Area Management Association, she is a past Director of District Two of the Alabama Federation of Women’s Clubs, served a six year term on the Alabama Board for License of Private Schools, is active in her church and community, and is a national winner of ballroom dancing.

In 2011, Ms. Ledbetter was inducted into the National Women’s Hall of Fame located in Seneca Falls, New York.