Friday, December 02, 2016

Women Rising

Variety tells us:

... Statistics from the animation guild, IATSE 839, paint the picture for animators. Right now about 3,800 artists, writers and technicians work under the guild’s jurisdiction in and around Los Angeles and slightly more than 23% of this number are women. Roughly 18 months ago, around 21% were female, so the number is climbing a bit.

That’s still not fast enough for Women in Animation co-chair Marge Dean, who is working with the organization on a 50-50 by 2025 initiative that aims to see an equal split of jobs for men and women on animation productions by the year 2025. Though such animation schools as CalArts report that more than 70% of their program is made up of female students, women are still underrepresented in hiring at most studios.

“Women are pushed into producer positions or into production assistant jobs and they aren’t encouraged to become creators or storytellers,” says Dean. “We want to encourage women to become creators and animators, to do their own projects and have their own creative voice.” ...

I've seen a steady uptick in the numbers of women who are making careers in the animation industry. Ms. Dean could well be right that progress is too slow, but I've seen more women art directors, more women show runners in the last few years than I ever did in the go-go nineties.

Twenty years back, you could have counted the number of women in high creative positions on the pitching hand of Three Finger Brown. It's considerably different today. Now, there are female directors, female story supervisors, female show-runners, and a lot more women down in the trenches doing production boards and design work for most of the major studios. Just yesterday, I was in a meeting with a Disney TVA showrunner who was a woman.

So yeah. Progress might not be as rapid as Marge Dean would like, but progress is being made. And that's damn important.


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