Set against the backdrop of the 1960s, Made in Dagenham is based on a true story about a group of spirited women who joined forces, took a stand for what was right, and in doing so, found their own inner strength. Although far from the Swinging Sixties of Carnaby Street, life for the women of Dagenham, England is tinged with the sounds and sights of the optimistic era, heard on their radios and seen on their TV sets. Rita Oâ€™Grady (Sally Hawkins) reflects that upbeat era, along with her friends and co-workers at the cityâ€™s Ford Motor Factoryâ€”Sandra, Eileen, Brenda, Monica, and Connieâ€”who laugh in the face of poor conditions. Lisa is a fiercely-intelligent Cambridge-educated woman who feels a bit trapped, tending to the home with a husband that suggests she keeps her opinions to herself. She may not live in the same world as the other women, but she shares their views.
No one thought the revolution would come to Dagenharn, until the day that it did. Rita, who primarily sees herself as a wife and mother, is coerced into attending a meeting with shop steward Connie, sympathetic union representative Albert and Peter Hopkins, Fordâ€™s Head of Industrial Relations. What she expects to be simply a day out of work, complete with a free lunch, turns into much more when she and her colleagues become outraged by the lack of respect shown in the meeting to the women employees. With humor, common sense, and courage Rita and the other women take on their bosses, an increasing belligerent local community, and finally the government, as their intelligence and unpredictability proves to be a match for any of their male opponents. Daring to stand up and push boundaries, the women changed a system that no one wanted to admit was broken.