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Women In Animation Meet At Annecy Fest To Discuss Gender Disparity In Industry

Women In Animation Meet At Annecy Fest To Discuss Gender Disparity In Industry

Via Press Release: In line with the Annecy International Animation Festival’s
theme this year of “honoring women,” the organization Women in Animation (WIA)
hosted a program this morning aptly titled “Women in Animation” at the Imperial Palace
Hotel. The presentation and panel discussion included WIA Advisory Board members
Bonnie Arnold, Margie Cohn, Lenora Hume and Adina Pitt as well as WIA Co-President
Kristy Scanlan and WIA Chairpersons Jinko Gotoh and Tracy Campbell, with
moderation by WIA Co-President Marge Dean.

“Having a presence at Annecy this year
has given us the amazing opportunity to meet the women who have made a name for
themselves in a largely male-driven industry, and to learn from their perspective and
experience,” says Kristy Scanlan, Co-President of WIA. “We have been collecting
statistics from studios and schools around the world which show that women dominate
art schools but then only make up about 20% of the creative work force. We used this
ratio as a launching point for today’s program, and then talked about what we’re doing to
rectify the situation,” adds Dean.

WIA board members performed various surveys and gathered data to inform
themselves of the most recent ratios in the workforce. WIA discovered that according to a
survey of several LA-based animation schools and statistics gathered by the Animation
Guild (TAG, Local 839 IATSE), in 2015:

  • 60% of all animation students are women
  • 20% of all animation creatives are women
For some historical perspective, here are additional percentages:

  • In 2006, men made up 84% of the animation workforce, whereas roles filled by
    women total 16%
  • In 2015, men make up 80% and roles filled by women still only total 20%

    WIA co-president Marge Dean explains, “We know there are many roles that
    women can play in animation, but we wanted to highlight specific areas in our discussion
    today. We can see that there are very few women who are creatively leading animated
    productions and need to address that imbalance.” Case in point, the survey revealed that
    in the last five years, only three animated features in the U.S. and two in France have had
    a woman director, and those were only as part of male/female directing teams. In the past
    15 years, there have only been two solo woman directors of U.S. produced animated
    features – Jennifer Yuh Nelson for Kung Fu Panda 2 (2011) and Jun Falkenstein for The
    Tigger Movie (2000). To further support these concerns, the breakdown of women’s roles
    in various creative positions in animation today are as follows, according to the
    Animation Guild:

    • 10% of all producer/directors are women
    • 17% of all writers are women
    • 21% of all art/designers are women
    • 23% of all animators are women

    These are all average numbers, mainly focused on Los Angeles-based studios, both large
    and small.

    WIA has also found that the numbers are similar in Canada: among eight studios
    between Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal, only 16 -18% of the creative roles are
    currently filled by women. In France, the Centre National de la cinématographie et de
    l’image Animee (CNC) released the following ratios related to 54 television series
    financed in 2014:

  • Women scriptwriters: Based on a total of 233 scriptwriters, 54 were women
  • Women directors: Based on a total of 82 directors, 16 were women (20%)
    Also, according to Réseau des écoles françaises de cinéma d’animation (RECA), the
    network of French animation schools, women average 50.14% of the student body across
    25 different animation programs.

    Dean concludes, “There is a lot of promise for increasing the role of women in the
    animation industry simply based on the increased number of women studying animation at
    the college level. But we’ve learned from experience that an increase in student enrollment
    alone will not change the employment numbers. This is ultimately going to take awareness,
    training, support and courage for women to step out and have their voices heard. We so
    admire those who can say ‘here’s my voice, this is what I think, this is me.’ WIA will
    continue to encourage women in the industry to be brave enough to say this to others.”


    Women in Animation (WIA) envisions a world in which women share fully in the creation,
    production and rewards of animation, resulting in richer and more diverse entertainment
    and media that move our culture forward. The mission of WIA is to bring together a global
    community of animation professionals to empower and support women in the art, science
    and business of animation by increasing access to resources, creating opportunities for
    education, encouraging strong connections between individuals, and inspiring excellence.
    For more information, or to join WIA, please visit http://www.womeninanimation.org

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